Should have executed Saddam Hussein

politics : Horrible glitch during execution in Iraq

Despite international protests, Saddam Hussein's half-brother, ex-secret service chief Barsan al Tikriti, and a former judge were executed in Baghdad on Monday morning. Another mishap occurred: During the hanging execution, the head of Saddam Hussein's half-brother was torn off. This was announced by government spokesman Ali al Dabbagh. He described the incident as a "rare occurrence". Prime Minister Nuri al Maliki's advisor, Basem Ridha, spoke of an “act of God”.

By announcing the incident, the government is probably trying to forestall rumors that the convicts had been mistreated. A video shot on behalf of the Iraqi government showed the body under the gallows, the head several meters away. It was shown to selected journalists. According to experts, if the height of fall is too great, it can lead to the separation of the head from the torso. The circumstances surrounding the execution of Saddam Hussein had been sharply criticized around the world. The former dictator was provoked by Shiites to the last breath and the execution was illegally filmed. In addition to Barsan al Tikriti, the former head of the Revolutionary Court, Awad Ahmed al Badar, was also executed on Monday.

Prosecutor Jafaar al Mousavi, who was present at the execution, told the BBC that he only saw the rope when the trap door opened. “I thought the convicted Barsan al Tikriti had slipped out of the rope. I went to the trap door and saw that the head had been severed from the body, ”he said. In order to avoid chaotic scenes like the execution of Saddam Husein on December 30th, the number of witnesses was limited. All those present had to commit themselves to proper behavior in writing. The condemned were not insulted, said the government spokesman. The bodies of the two people who were executed are said to have been handed over to the police, where the families can pick them up. A member of the defense, Jordanian attorney Issam al Ghazzawi, questioned the official version of the execution, saying that "Ill-treatment" was to be expected in Iraq. "We were in Baghdad on Friday and were not informed of the date, even though we had insisted on sending a representative to carry out the sentence," Al Ghazzawi told the AFP news agency.

Barsan al Tikriti was one of the most feared men in the previous Iraqi regime. The former head of the secret service is said to be responsible for torturing thousands of political opponents. As Iraqi representative to the United Nations in Geneva, he is said to have taken care of Saddam Hussein's secret accounts abroad. Al Bandar was charged with passing political judgments and sentencing at least 35 teenagers to death in the Dujail trial. Al Bandar denied this, claiming that he was only complying with Iraqi law.

According to their lawyers, Al Tikriti and al Bandar had already been removed from their cells on December 30 to carry out the death sentence. They only returned to their prison cells nine hours later. In addition to Western governments, Iraqi President Talabani had spoken out in favor of postponing the executions. But Prime Minister al Maliki had refused. He threatened to break ties with countries that criticized the executions.

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