US cable describes controversial Saddam execution


A newly-leaked US diplomatic cable describes in detail the circumstances of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s execution, from guards telling him to “go to hell” to officials taking mobile phone pictures.

Saddam Hussein speaking at a pre-trial hearing

Saddam’s execution in December 2006 sparked international controversy after mobile phone video of the sentence being carried out was published on the Internet showing witnesses taunting him as he was about to be hanged.

The controversies led then-US ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to comment in the leaked cable that supporters of Saddam would use the poorly-conducted execution as an excuse to condemn what he said was a fair trial.

According to the cable, dispatched in January 2007 and classified SECRET, Iraqi deputy prosecutor Monqith al-Faroun, in a meeting with Khalilzad, described a guard who was escorting Saddam to the execution platform telling the ousted president to “go to hell”, remarks that Faroun said he admonished.

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