Iraqi Chief Judge: Execute Saddam Within 30 Days

Baghdad, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq's highest court says Saddam Hussein's death sentence has to be carried out sometime in the next 30 days.

The chief judge says, starting tomorrow, any day could be what he calls "the day of implementation."

Saddam was condemned to death after his first trial for the 1982 killings of nearly 150 people in a Shiite Muslim town. The former Iraqi leader argued unsuccessfully that the victims were executed for an attempt on his life.

A top Iraqi official says the high court also upheld the death penalty of two co-defendants, but kicked back a life sentence for another man as being too lenient.

Iraqi death sentences typically have to be ratified by the president and two vice presidents; although a court spokesman says Iraq's judicial system will find a way to execute Saddam, even without that.

Copyright 2006 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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