Saddam's co-defendants to be executed Thursday

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Two co-defendants who were scheduled to hang with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will instead be executed Thursday, according to an Iraqi government official.

Details still need to be worked out with the American military, but the two are expected at the gallows after Islam's Eid al-Adha holiday, which ends today. File:Barzan ibrahim.jpg

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half-brother and former intelligence chief
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim, a former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former chief justice of the Revolutionary Court, were sentenced to death for their roles in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims in the Iraqi town of Dujail in 1982, following a failed assassination on the then-dictator.

Saddam was hanged before dawn Saturday, before Eid, for the same crimes.

Since then, Saddam loyalists and Sunni Muslims have expressed outrage at the way in which he was killed. A three-minute video shot on a cellphone and leaked to the Internet shows witnesses and the executioners taunting Saddam before his death.

The Iraqi government launched an investigation into the video and on Wednesday arrested one of the guards believed to have shot it.

Reaction to the hanging has been mixed around the world. Even in the U.S., the State Department has condemned the taunting, while President George W. Bush hailed Saddam's death "a milestone."