More Iraqi Executions

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - Saddam Hussein's half brother and the
former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were both hanged before
dawn Monday, officials said, two weeks and two days after the
former Iraqi dictator was executed in a chaotic scene that has
drawn worldwide criticism.
Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence
chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court,
had been found guilty along with Saddam in the killing of 148
Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former
leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh confirmed the executions,
saying those attending the hangings included a prosecutor, a judge
and a physician.
He also said Ibrahim's head was severed from his body during his
hanging.
"In a rare incident, the head of the accused Barzan Ibrahim
al-Hassan was separated from his body during the execution,"
al-Dabbagh told reporters.
The executions reportedly occurred in the same Saddam-era
military intelligence headquarters building in north Baghdad where
the former leader was hanged two days before the end of 2006,
according to an Iraqi general, who would not allow use of his name
because he was not authorized to release the information. The
building is located in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah.
The two men were to have been hanged along with Saddam on Dec.
30, but Iraqi authorities decided to execute Saddam alone on what
National Security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie called a "special
day."
Last week, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the government
to delay the executions.
"In my opinion we should wait," Talabani said Wednesday at a
news conference with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. "We
should examine the situation," he said without elaborating.
Saddam's execution became an unruly scene that brought worldwide
criticism of the Iraqi government. Video of the execution, recorded
on a cell phone camera, showed the former dictator being taunted on
the gallows.
On Tuesday, al-Maliki said that Khalilzad asked him to delay
Saddam's execution for 10 days to two weeks, but added that Iraqi
officials rejected the demand.
A lawyer for the two men told The Associated Press recently that
they were taken from their cells and told they were going to be
hanged on the same day Saddam was executed.
Issam Ghazawi, a member of Saddam's defense team for the past
two years, said he met individually with Ibrahim and al-Bandar
recently, and that Ibrahim told him they were escorted from their
cells and told they were also going to be executed.
"The Americans took me and al-Bandar from our cells on the same
day of Saddam's execution to an office inside the prison at 1 a.m.
They asked us to collect our belongings because they intend to
execute us at dawn," Ibrahim reportedly said.
He said the two men were also told to write their wills.
Al-Bandar and Ibrahim were taken back to their prison cells
nearly nine hours later, according to Ghazawi.
"Their execution should be commuted under such circumstances
because of the psychological pain they endured as they waited to
hang," he said.
Ghazawi quoted as Al-Bandar as saying he "wished to have been
executed with President Saddam." Ibrahim, the lawyer said, "was
in the worst condition. He kept crying over the death of his
brother and said it was a great loss for the family and the Arab
world."
After Saddam's execution but before Ibrahim and al-Bandar's,
Human Rights Watch released a report calling the speedy trial and
subsequent hanging of Saddam proof of the new Iraqi government's
disregard for human rights.
"The tribunal repeatedly showed its disregard for the
fundamental due process rights of all of the defendants," said
Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights Watch's International
Justice Program.


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