Saddam Death Sentence Upheld
The Iraqi court that heard Saddam Hussein's automatic appeal of his death sentence has upheld the verdict, and the dictator should be executed within thrity days.
"The appeals court approved the verdict to hang Saddam," Mouwafak al- Rubaie told The Associated Press.A judicial spokesman said that they will hang Saddam whether or not Talabani approves:
On Nov. 5, an Iraqi court sentenced Saddam to the gallows for the 1982 killings of 148 people from a Shiite Muslim town after an attempt on his life there.
The appeals court decision must be ratified by President Jalal Talabani and Iraq's two vice presidents. Talabani opposes the death penalty but has in the past deputized a vice president to sign an execution order on his behalf _ a substitute that was legally accepted.
Raed Juhi, a spokesman for the High Tribunal court that convicted Saddam, said the Iraqi judicial system would ensure that Saddam is executed even if Talabani and the two vice presidents do not ratify the decision.
"We'll implement the verdict by the power of the law," Juhi said without elaborating.