Iraq Govt hails Saddam verdict, Sunnis complain | india | Hindustan Times
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Iraq Govt hails Saddam verdict, Sunnis complain

india Updated: Nov 05, 2006 16:45 IST

Speaking of Saddam's death sentence, the Iraqi government on Sunday said that the former president had got what he deserved.

However, a senior Sunni Arab member of parliament dismissed the verdict as political.

"The verdict is as expected," Ali al-Dabbagh, spokesman for the Shi'ite-led coalition government, said after the ousted president was sentenced to death for crimes against humanity.

"This is the least that Saddam deserved because his crimes were great. No further punishment was possible."

A senior Sunni Arab parliamentarian, who asked not be quoted by name for fear of sectarian reprisals, said, however: "This is a political verdict from a political court."

Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, an ethnic Kurd, told said: "The court has proven to be professional and just. Saddam was given the justice he denied to the people of Iraq over 35 years.

"I hope the verdict will bring closure to this tragic and brutal episode in Iraqi history. We must never forget and we must always be vigilant never to let tyranny rise here in Iraq ever again - but it's time to move on."

Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the most powerful Shi'ite Islamist bloc in the government, praised the verdict but said now was the time for Iraqis to unite.

"Saddam is gone ... his tyranny and injustice are over forever," Hakim told his party's television channel.

"What happened to him is a lesson for everyone - all tyrants will get what they deserve at the hands of those who suffer injustice," said Hakim, who previously led the Badr Brigade militia, which fought Saddam from exile in Iran.