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Saddam facing quick execution, secret burial if verdict upheld: Iraqi official

[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] will be immediately executed and possibly buried in secret if his death sentence is approved by the court currently considering his appeal [JURIST report], according to an Iraqi government official speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity Tuesday. Hussein and two of his co-defendants, Awad Hamed al-Bandar and Barzan al-Tikriti, were all convicted and sentenced to death [judgment; JURIST report] last month for crimes against humanity [charging instrument, PDF] committed in the Iraqi town of Dujail [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] in 1982. The official said "We will not waste time. We will look at the security situation and they will be executed immediately at the very first opportunity we get after the appeals chamber finalises the verdicts." He added that Hussein's death sentence would not be carried out publicly as that would be a "violation of human rights," and said that no monument would be built for Hussein. If Hussein is buried privately, Muslim practices would allow his body to be exhumed and given to his family after the initial burial, according to the official.

The official rejected a statement made last month by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [BBC profile] that Hussein's death sentence would be carried out by the end of this year [JURIST report], saying it was "unlikely" because the appeals court is reviewing every detail of Hussein's case before making a final decision. Hussein is currently on trial on separate genocide charges [JURIST news archive; BBC trial timeline] for allegedly killing 100,000 Kurds during the so-called "Anfal" campaigns [HRW backgrounder] in the late 1980s. The Anfal trial could continue posthumously [JURIST report] should Hussein be executed before proceedings in the second trial conclude. AFP has more.

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