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Saddam's brother, ex-aide hanged

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam.

india Updated: Jan 15, 2007 20:16 IST

Saddam Hussein's half brother and the former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were hanged before dawn on Monday, Prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon said, two weeks and two days after the former Iraqi dictator was executed in a chaotic scene that has drawn worldwide criticism.

Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along with Saddam of in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.

"They (government) called us before dawn and told us to send someone. I sent a judge to witness the execution and it happened," al-Faroon said.

Two aides to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirmed that the executions had taken place. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the government had not yet released the information.

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh was to hold a news conference later Monday and was expected to announce the hangings.

The executions reportedly occurred in the same Saddam-era military intelligence headquarters building in north Baghdad where the former leader was hanged two days before the end of 2006, according to an Iraqi general, who would not allow use of his name because he was not authorised to release the information.

The building is located in the Shiite neighbourhood of Kazimiyah. The two men were to have been hanged along with Saddam on December 30, but Iraqi authorities decided to execute Saddam alone on what National Security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie called a "special day."

Last week, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the government to delay the executions.

"In my opinion we should wait," Talabani said on Wednesday at a news conference with the United States Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

"We should examine the situation," he said without elaborating. Saddam's execution became an unruly scene that brought worldwide criticism of the Iraqi government.

Video of the execution, recorded on a cell phone camera, showed the former dictator being taunted on the gallows.

On Tuesday, al-Maliki said that Khalilzad asked him to delay Saddam's execution for 10 days to two weeks, but added that Iraqi officials rejected the demand.

The Iraqi foreign minister, meanwhile, called on Sunday for the release of five Iranians detained by the US forces in what he said was a legitimate diplomatic mission in northern Iraq, but he stressed that foreign intervention to help insurgents would not be tolerated.

First Published: Jan 15, 2007 11:28 IST