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Saddam will directed lawyers to cease appeals; UK failed to stop execution

[JURIST] In his final will, dictated to his principal Iraqi defense counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi [JURIST news archive] 24 hours before his December 30 execution [JURIST report], former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] instructed his legal team to stop all appeals, saying that his impending execution was the work of US and Iranian collaboration. The document, a copy of which was obtained by the Associated Press from Hussein lawyer Amin el-Deeb, empowered his lawyers to "decide whatever is related to me except appealing for the life of Saddam Hussein to any of the presidents, kings, Arabs or foreigners." El-Deeb said that Dulaimi's last meeting with Saddam was also attended by his co-defendants. AP has more.

It was also revealed Thursday by UK Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett [official biography] that Britain sought to prevent Hussein's execution, even "lobbying at the highest level in Baghdad on 29 December." Beckett told Labour Party MP Andrew Mackinlay [official website] in a letter that the government was continuing to press Iraqi officials to abolish the death penalty in the face of the pending hangings of two other Saddam regime officials. Earlier this week, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair [JURIST news archive] broke a week-long silence to announce his displeasure [JURIST report] with how Hussein's execution was carried out. Reuters has more.

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