Saddam Hussein has been found guilty of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death.
The former dictator will be hanged, a court in Baghdad’s Green Zone complex ruled.
Saddam was convicted of ordering the deaths of 148 Shia men and teenage boys in the town of Dujail in 1982.
The killings followed a failed assassination attempt against him in 1982 and were intended to act as a grim warning to others not to oppose him.
Facing charges alongside him were Taha Yassin Ramadan, a former vice-president, Barzan Ibrahim al Tikriti – Saddam’s half-brother – former judge Awad Ahmad al Bander and four party officials from Dujail.
Security was stepped up in Baghdad in anticipation of a violent reaction to the announcement of the verdict.
This is a happy day.
UPDATE 0235hrs PST
Video of the verdict:
UPDATE 1120hrs PST
Bush making comments about the verdict right now. Meanwhile some great comments by the Prime Minister of Iraq:
“The verdict placed on the heads of the former regime does not represent a verdict for any one person. It is a verdict on a whole dark era that has was unmatched in Iraq’s history,” said Nouri al-Maliki, Iraq’s Shiite prime minister.
That pretty much wraps up the verdict. It’s a verdict against the evil of that regime.