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Iraqi PM Maliki says hopes Saddam executed soon

Written by: Staff
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KUWAIT, July 5 (Reuters) Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki today said he hoped former President Saddam Hussein, under trial for crimes against humanity, would be executed soon.

''When will Saddam be executed?'' asked a journalist in a news conference in Kuwait, Iraq's smaller neighbour once occupied by Saddam's Iraq. ''Soon, God willing,'' answered Maliki.

Kuwait last year demanded that Saddam be sentenced to death for crimes committed during the seven-month occupation which was ended in 1991 by a US-led international coalition.

Kuwait was a launchpad for the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, which toppled Saddam's rule.

Asked who will ratify any death sentence against Saddam, Maliki said: ''The leadership board will sign on his execution like it had signed on the execution of his predecessors.'' Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has said he rejects capital punishment in principle.

Saddam, who stood trial on charges of killing Shi'ite Muslims in the Iraqi village of Dujail in 1982, faces a new trial in Augustto answer charges of genocide in the killings of tens of thousands of Iraq's Kurds in 1988.

REUTERS SHB RK2057

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