2006_11_saddamverdict.jpg

2006_11_hussein.jpgAfter a nine month long trial, the Iraqi High Tribunal sentenced former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein to death by hanging. Two other defendants, half brother and his former intelligence chief Barzan Hassain and former judge Awad Bandar, were also sentenced to death for the 1982 execution of 148 men and boys in Shiite town Dujail (the town incurred Hussein's wrath when Hussein visited and his assassination was attempted).

Although a curfew had been set to curb violence, Shiites celebrated the verdict, ripping up pictures of Hussein as well as burning effigies of him, while violence and fighting broke out in Sunni areas between Hussein's supporters and Iraqi as well as American forces.

Hussein yelled a number of things during the sentencing, including, "Damn you and your court," "I’ll listen to the judgment but I won’t stand up," "Long live the people! Long live the Arab nation! Down with the spies!" and "God is great!"

Here are some more details about what could be next from the NY Times:

Under Iraqi law, death sentences automatically trigger an appeal to the appellate chamber of the trial court, so any executions would likely be subject to a delay of at least several months and possibly as much as a year.

Furthermore, Mr. Hussein, along with six other defendants, is also being tried in a separate case in which they face charges of killing at least 50,000 people in the so-called Anfal military campaign in 1987 and 1988 in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Prosecutors are preparing numerous other cases against Mr. Hussein, and the tribunal may decide to try him on some or all of the additional charges if it wants to create a full record of the former leader’s crimes.

CNN has a report on the "comedy, tragedy and chaos" of the trial as well as a separate section about Saddam Hussein on trial. Can you believe it's been almost three years since Hussein was found in his bunker?

Photograph of Shiites celebrating the verdict in Sadr City by Karim Kadim/AP; photograph of Saddam Hussein shouting during the trial by Jacob Silberberg/AP (pool)