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Did Saddam deserve death sentence?

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Last updated on: November 06, 2006 09:53 IST

The verdict is out. Former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein has been awarded death sentence for crimes against humanity by Iraq's High Tribunal.

Saddam, who was charged with killing 148 Shiite civilians during his regime, was visibly shaken when the verdict was delivered. But US President George Bush was ecstatic. He termed the verdict as 'a milestone in the Iraqi people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.' Interestingly, the verdict came just two days ahead of the US Congressional elections.  

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih too said that the guilty verdict against Saddam had justified the 'morality' of toppling the former dictator. The news was shot in the arm for the majority Shiite population of Iraq even as the Sunnis deplored the verdict.

However, India has reacted guardedly to the verdict, saying that such verdicts should not appear to be 'victor's justice' and should be acceptable to the people of Iraq and the international community. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) denounced the Iraqi High Tribunal verdict and demanded intervention by the Central government to get it rescinded.

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