Saddam had ruled out plea for life

Updated: 2007-01-12 11:21

CAIRO, Egypt - Hours before Saddam Hussein's execution, the ousted Iraqi dictator asked his attorneys not to appeal for his life and accused the United States and Iran of collaborating to hang him, according to a copy his will.

As part of Saddam's final wishes, he gave his chief lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi the right to "decide whatever is related to me except appealing for the life of Saddam Hussein to any of the presidents, kings, Arabs or foreigners," read a copy of the will obtained by The Associated Press.

Saddam dictated his will to al-Dulaimi during a meeting with his co-defendants present, according to a copy of the will that was faxed to the AP from another Saddam lawyer, Amin el-Deeb.

El-Deeb said the meeting took place 24 hours before Saddam's Dec. 30 execution. El-Deeb said he was not present at the meeting, and numerous attempts to reach al-Dulaimi went unanswered.

"American and Safavid intentions are behind these decisions," Saddam said of his forthcoming execution. Safavid refers to the Persian dynasty that ruled Iran from the late 1400s to the 1720s and converted the country from the Sunni to Shiite Muslim sect.

He also asked to be buried in either Ouja, his birthplace, or in Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province where many of the country's Sunni Arab insurgents are fighting. According to the will, Saddam said he left the final decision up to his daughter Raghad, who lives in exile in the Jordanian capital of Amman. Subsequently, Saddam was interred in Ouja.

Saddam was sentenced to death on Nov. 5 for the killing of 148 Shiites in Dujail after a 1982 attempt to assassinate him.

The former dictator was executed in an unruly scene that brought worldwide criticism of the Iraqi government. Video of the execution, recorded on a cell phone camera, showed the former dictator being taunted as he stood with a noose around his neck on the gallows.

In an interview with The Sunday Times in London earlier this month, Saddam's youngest daughter Rana said her father also urged his daughters not to plead for his life.

But before his execution and the will meeting, al-Dulaimi on Dec. 28 urged international organizations including the Arab League and United Nations to "rapidly prevent" the Americans from handing Saddam over to the Iraqis for his execution.

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