The chief prosecutor in the trial of Saddam Hussein demanded the death penalty for the ousted Iraqi president and two other defendants.
"We demand the maximum punishment for Saddam, (his half-brother) Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti and (former vice president) Taha Yassin Ramadan," Jaafar al-Mussawi said in court as he rested the prosecution case.
The ousted president, looking calm and composed, smiled from the dock as the prosecutor called for him to be sent to the gallows.
Later in the day a US official close to the court said that the verdict in the case could "come by mid-September".
He also said that at least three in the five-judge panel have to vote for a death or a life imprisonment sentence for it to be issued.
Saddam and seven other defendants are on trial for the killing of 148 Shiite civilians from the town of Dujail where the then president escaped an assassination attempt in 1982.
The prosecutor however asked that charges be dropped against defendant Mohammed Azzam Azzawi, a former official of Saddam's ruling Baath party with responsibility for the Dujail area, and that he be released because of his inculpability and poor health.
Mussawi also asked the court to show leniency to three other local Baath party officials -- Ali Daeh Ali, Abdullah Khadem Ruweid and his son Mezhar Abdullah Ruweid.
The prosecutor said he would leave it to the court to decide on the appropriate punishment under article 406 of Iraqi Penal Code for Awad Ahmed al-Bander, the former chief judge of the revolutionary court and deputy head of Saddam's office.