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Mideast Reaction in Saddam Verdict

November 5, 2006

``The families of the victims have the right to smile and celebrate a little by this death sentence against this criminal and his aides.″ _ Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in televised speech.

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``Long live the people and death to their enemies! Long live the glorious nation, and death to its enemies!″ _ Saddam Hussein

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``This is a political court, not a judicial court. Iraq is under occupation. The conflict of interest is clear and obvious. You put your enemy in jail and try him. What is the meaning of that? It is illegal under international law.″ _ Iraq’s former U.N. ambassador Mohammed Aldouri, who now lives in the United Arab Emirates.

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``The judiciary is operating independently and we need to give them credit for doing their job and doing it in the way they saw fit and proper.″ _ White House spokesman Tony Snow.

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``Saddam was undoubtedly a brutal dictator, and even though I wouldn’t subscribe to the death penalty, he deserves to be punished severely for the enormity of his crimes.″ _ Chandra Muzaffar, president of Malaysia-based International Movement for a Just World

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``The judge was unjust and carries out what the U.S. dictates.″ _ Laith Kamel, 22, an Iraqi living in Syria.

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``This is justice from heaven. He should have been hanged a long time ago. This is the smallest punishment for someone who executed tens of thousands of people.″ _ Abdul-Ridha Aseeri, who heads political science department at Kuwait University.

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``Since day one, we said the trial was politically motivated 100 percent and that it’s completely illegal. The defense voice was not allowed to be heard at all.″ _ Khalil al-Dulaimi , Saddam’s chief lawyer.

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``Although the Iraqis may face difficult days in the coming weeks, closing the book on Saddam and his regime is an opportunity to unite and build a better future. As the Iraqi people move forward, the United States will support them in their efforts to build a just and democratic society.″ _ U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad.

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``He deserves the death penalty. He is the cause of the bloodshed taking place in my country now. ``_ Salah Hassan, 50, an Iraqi businessman who lives in Jordan.

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``This is unfair verdict and if Saddam is executed or not, he ruled Iraq for about 40 years and ... he will remain a symbol and no one can delete it neither the Iraqi movement or the Americans.″ _ Muhssin Ali Mohammed, 36 , who lives in Saddam’s hometown of Tikrit, Iraq.