Sunday, January 07, 2007

Blair finds manner of Saddam hanging 'completely wrong': office

Blair finally condemns the execution of Saddam Hussein:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair believes the manner of Saddam Hussein's execution was "completely wrong", his Downing Street office said Sunday.

Blair has been under fire for refusing to speak on the subject, and criticism of his silence mounted after both his deputy and his finance minister condemned the hanging of the deposed Iraqi dictator as "deplorable" and "completely unacceptable".

In his first engagement since returning from a New Year holiday in Miami, Blair said Friday he would speak about the execution next week.

"In terms of what he will say next week, we don't think there are going to be any surprises on where he stands," a spokeswoman said, while declining to say when and how Blair would make his comments on Saddam's hanging.

"He supports the inquiry by the Iraqi authorities. He does believe that the manner of execution was completely wrong, but this shouldn't lead us to forget the crimes that Saddam committed, including the death of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis."

The execution was carried out at the start of a key holiday while leaked mobile phone video footage showed Saddam being taunted as he stood on the gallows, prompting Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to order a probe.

Britain's finance minister Gordon Brown condemned the execution of the toppled president in an interview broadcast Sunday, becoming the highest-ranking government member to speak out so far.

Whole story: France24

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