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Iraq VP surprised by timing of Saddam co-defendant executions

[JURIST] Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi said Tuesday that he was taken by surprise by the hangings [JURIST report] Monday of former Saddam Hussein-era Revolutionary Court judge Awad Hamed al-Bandar [Wikipedia profile] and former Iraqi intelligence chief Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti [GlobalSecurity profile; BBC profile], sentenced to death [JURIST report] with Hussein in November in connection with crimes against humanity committed in the town of Dujail in 1982. Hashemi said the Iraqi Presidency Council [Wikipedia backgrounder] had asked to delay the executions of Bandar and Tikriti, so he was caught off guard that the death sentences were carried out despite that appeal.

While public outcry has been quieter than after the execution of Saddam Hussein [JURIST report] last month, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice [official profile] expressed disappointment [transcript] that the men did not meet their deaths with greater dignity. Rice's comments follow reports that Tikriti was decapitated during his hanging, which Amnesty International criticized [AI press release] as emphasizing "the brutality of this already cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment." AFP has more.

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