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Saddam to hang within hours: Iraqi official

The physical transfer of Saddam to Iraqi authorities was believed to be one of the last steps before he was to be hanged.

india Updated: Dec 30, 2006 04:56 IST

Ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein will be executed before 6:00 am (0300 GMT) on Saturday, an Iraqi official close to Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki's office said, five hours before this deadline.

"The meeting with the Americans is over," the official said on condition of anonymity. "They decided Saddam will be hanged before 6:00 am."

Judge Moneer Haddad, who has been assigned to witness the execution on behalf of the appeal court which confirmed Saddam's death sentence, also said that the hanging appeared to be imminent.

"I have new news," he said. "Perhaps they will hang in him in two hours. They called me and asked me to come."

Earlier, Iraqi officials in Maliki's entourage had said that they were in talks with American officials about transferring Saddam from US military custody in order to carry out the planned execution.

First Published: Dec 30, 2006 02:46 IST