Amother Victim Of Bush's War

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by red states rule, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. red states rule

    red states rule Senior Member

    May 30, 2006
    Thanks Received:
    Trophy Points:
    Libs will be in mourning today as another victim of Bush's war in Iraq claimed another innocent bystander

    Saddam's Former Deputy Hanged in Iraq
    By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer
    1 hour ago

    Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan listens to a ...
    BAGHDAD - Saddam Hussein's former deputy was hanged before dawn Tuesday, the fourth man to be executed in the killings of 148 Shiites following a 1982 assassination attempt against the former leader in the town of Dujail.

    Taha Yassin Ramadan, who was Saddam's vice president when the regime was ousted, went to the gallows on the fourth anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

    Bassam al-Hassani, an adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said the execution went smoothly, although Ramadan appeared frightened and recited the two shahadahs _ a declaration of faith repeated by Muslims _ "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Prophet."

    Al-Hassani said precautions were taken to prevent a repeat of what happened to Saddam's half brother and co-defendant Barzan Ibrahim, who was inadvertently decapitated on the gallows during his January execution.

    Ramadan, who was nearly 70, was weighed before the hanging and the rope was chosen accordingly, al-Hassani said.

    The execution took place at 3:05 a.m. at a prison at an Iraqi army and police base, which had been the headquarters of Saddam's military intelligence, in a predominantly Shiite district in northern Baghdad. Ramadan had been in U.S. custody but was handed over to the Iraqis about an hour before the hanging, according to al-Hassani, who witnessed the hanging.

    Al-Maliki has not attended any of the executions, but representatives from his office, a judge and a prosecutor attended the hanging, along with members of the justice and interior ministries and a physician.

    The prosecutor read out the court verdict upholding the death sentence and al-Maliki's decision to carry it out, the adviser said, adding that a defense lawyer who attended the execution received Ramadan's written will.

    The contents were not revealed, although a Sunni cleric later said Ramadan had asked to be buried near Saddam.

    Yahya Ibrahim, a member of the Association of Muslim Scholars, said Ramadan's body will be received by members of Saddam's tribe later Tuesday and will be buried near co-defendants Ibrahim and Awad Hamed al-Bandar in Ouja, on the outskirts of Tikrit.

    The graves, along with those of Saddam's sons Odai and Qusai and a grandson Mustafa, are in the courtyard of the building in which the former leader is buried. Ibrahim also said three days of mourning would be held for Ramadan.

    His sister, Khadija Ramadan, a professor at San'a University, was reached by The Associated Press in Yemen and said their 85-year-old mother was in deep mourning for her son.

    In violence Tuesday, a parked car bomb exploded near a main bus station in central Baghdad, killing five civilians and wounding 18, police said.

    A suicide car bomber drove his vehicle into an Iraq army checkpoint in a predominantly Sunni neighborhood in western Baghdad, killing one soldier and wounding another, police said. A roadside bomb struck the area about five minutes later but caused no casualties.

    At noon, a car bomb exploded in a tunnel in downtown Baghdad, killing three civilians and wounding seven others, police said.

    Seven civilians also were wounded in two separate attacks in southeastern Baghdad as the war entered its fifth year. The U.S.-led invasion began in the early morning in Baghdad, when it was still March 19 in the United States.

    Late Monday, U.S. and Iraqi troops also engaged in a major operation as part of a security crackdown in the volatile Hurriyah neighborhood in northern Baghdad, state television said. Witnesses said many people were reported holed up in two Shiite mosques, surrounded by U.S. forces.

    The state-run Iraqiya network said six civilians had been killed. The U.S. military did not comment on the reports.

    Badee Izzat Aref, a lawyer representing several former regime members, told The Associated Press by telephone that he was with Ramadan's lawyer when the condemned man called to report that he would be hanged.

    "He told the lawyer that he was not afraid and asked him to not to appeal to anybody to stop the execution," Aref said.

    Ramadan also called family members living abroad to tell them he was to be hanged and ask for their prayers, Aref said. "He told his family that he is going to face death with courage."

    Ramadan was convicted in November of murder, forced deportation and torture and sentenced to life in prison, but an appeals court ruled that was too lenient and he was sentenced to death. Besides the four executed, three other defendants were sentenced to 15 years in jail in the case, while one was acquitted.

    One of the highest-profile figures remaining to be tried for Saddam-era atrocities is Ali Hassan al-Majid, one of six defendants facing charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity stemming from Baghdad's military campaign in which more than 100,000 Kurds were killed. Al-Majid, who is Saddam's cousin, also is known as "Chemical Ali" for allegedly ordering poison gas attacks.

    Ramadan, who became vice president in March 1991 and was a Revolutionary Command Council member _ Iraq's highest political body under Saddam _ maintained his innocence, saying his duties were limited to economic affairs, not security issues.

    Human Rights Watch and the International Center for Transitional Justice have said the evidence against him was insufficient for the death penalty. U.N. human rights chief Louise Arbour also filed an unprecedented legal challenge last month with the Iraqi High Tribunal against imposing the death sentence on Ramadan, saying she recognized "the desire for justice of victims" but the trial had "failed to meet the standards of due process."

    Saddam was executed on Dec. 30 for his role in the killings. Two of his co-defendants in the Dujail case _ his half brother Ibrahim who was former intelligence chief, and al-Bandar, former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court _ were executed in January.

    Ibrahim plunged through the trap door and was beheaded by the jerk of the thick rope at the end of his fall, causing a furor; the Iraqi government said the decapitation was an accident.

    Saddam's Dec. 30 execution drew international outrage after a clandestine video showed the former president being taunted on the gallows. Another leaked video showed Saddam's corpse with a gaping neck wound.

    Saddam's regime was predominantly Sunni and many members of the sect have protested the executions on the grounds they were politically motivated by the newly empowered Shiite majority in Iraq.

    Ramadan was No. 20 on the U.S. most-wanted list issued shortly after the invasion began. He was captured on Aug. 20, 2003.

    Born in 1938 in the northern city of Mosul, Ramadan joined the underground Baath Party in 1956 and became close to Saddam. After the 1968 coup by the party, he held several ministerial posts and became a member of the regional command in 1969.

    During the 1980s, he was deputy prime minister and was for a time considered the second-most powerful man in Iraq after Saddam.

    He was said to have presided over many purges carried out by Saddam to eliminate rivals and strengthen his political control.

    He once described the U.S. Congress as little more than an extension of Israel's Knesset, or parliament.

    At the height of the standoff leading up to the war, Ramadan also suggested in 2002 that Saddam and President Bush fight a duel to settle their differences and spare their people the ravages of war.

Share This Page