BAGHDAD, Iraq - Saddam
Hussein's half brother and the former head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court were
both hanged before dawn Monday, Prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon said, two weeks and
two days after the former Iraqi dictator was executed in a chaotic scene that
has drawn worldwide criticism.
Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, half brother of
former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, reacts after being sentenced to
death at his trial in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone in this
November 5, 2006 file photo. He and former intelligence chief, and Awad
Hamed al-Bandar head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, were hanged before
dawn on Monday, January 15, 2007. [Reuters]
Barzan Ibrahim, Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, and Awad
Hamed al-Bandar head of Iraq's Revolutionary Court, had been found guilty along
with Saddam in the killing of 148 Shiite Muslims after a 1982 assassination
attempt on the former leader in the town of Dujail north of Baghdad.
"They (the government) called us before dawn and told us to send someone. I
sent a judge to witness the execution and it happened," al-Faroon said.
Two aides to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki confirmed that the executions had
taken place. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the government had not
yet released the information.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh was to hold a news conference later
Monday and was expected to announce the hangings.
The executions reportedly occurred in the same Saddam-era military
intelligence headquarters building in north Baghdad where the former leader was
hanged two days before the end of 2006, according to an Iraqi general, who would
not allow use of his name because he was not authorized to release the
information. The building is located in the Shiite neighborhood of Kazimiyah.
The two men were to have been hanged along with Saddam on Dec. 30, but Iraqi
authorities decided to execute Saddam alone on what National Security adviser
Mowaffak al-Rubaie called a "special day."
Last week, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani urged the government to delay the
"In my opinion we should wait," Talabani said Wednesday at a news conference
with US Ambassador to Iraq Zalmay Khalilzad. "We should examine the situation,"
he said without elaborating.
Saddam's execution became 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 on the gallows.
On Tuesday, al-Maliki said that Khalilzad asked him to delay Saddam's
execution for 10 days to two weeks, but added that Iraqi officials rejected the
A lawyer for the two men told The Associated Press recently that they were
taken from their cells and told they were going to be hanged on the same day
Saddam was executed.
Issam Ghazawi, a member of Saddam's defense team for the past two years, said
he met individually with Ibrahim and al-Bandar recently, and that Ibrahim told
him they were escorted from their cells and told they were also going to be
"The Americans took me and al-Bandar from our cells on the same day of
Saddam's execution to an office inside the prison at 1 a.m. They asked us to
collect our belongings because they intend to execute us at dawn," Ibrahim
He said the two men were also told to write their wills.
Al-Bandar and Ibrahim were taken back to their prison cells nearly nine hours
later, according to Ghazawi.
"Their execution should be commuted under such circumstances because of the
psychological pain they endured as they waited to hang," he said.
Ghazawi quoted as Al-Bandar as saying he "wished to have been executed with
President Saddam." Ibrahim, the lawyer said, "was in the worst condition. He
kept crying over the death of his brother and said it was a great loss for the
family and the Arab world."
After Saddam's execution but before Ibrahim and al-Bandar's, Human Rights
Watch released a report calling the speedy trial and subsequent hanging of
Saddam proof of the new Iraqi government's disregard for human rights.
"The tribunal repeatedly showed its disregard for the fundamental due process
rights of all of the defendants," said Richard Dicker, director of Human Rights
Watch's International Justice Program.