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Iraqi prosecutor says he threatened to halt Saddam execution after jeers

[JURIST] A top Iraqi legal official whose presence at the Saddam execution [JURIST report] was required by law told Reuters Tuesday that he threatened to walk out of the execution after Shiite supporters began jeering the ousted leader. Munkith al-Faroon said that hecklers began chanting support for militant Shiite cleric and head of the Mehdi Army militia Moqtada al-Sadr [BBC profile] while Saddam stood on the gallows, awaiting execution. Faroon's absence or exit would have halted the hanging.

An unofficial and grainy video [WARNING: graphic images] of the entire execution of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive; BBC obituary], including his actual hanging, was posted on the Web late Saturday and has prompted investigations [JURIST report] by the Iraqi government. The video was apparently shot with a cell phone camera by a witness to the hanging and shows Hussein's body dropping through the trap door of the gallows. Faroon can be heard on the tape calling for order. He told Reuters that although "the Americans took all our phones" prior to the execution, two senior government officials got phones in and one took the video. Reuters has more.

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