Saddam Hussein will be hanged within 30 days if he loses his appeal, Bassam Ridha, an adviser to Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi Prime Minister, said yesterday.
The appeal, due to start within a month, will be heard before a chamber of nine judges and could take several months to reach a conclusion. Mr Ridha said that if the panel did not overturn the death sentence, the decision would be ratified by the three-man presidency council and transferred to the Justice Ministry to carry out the execution.
The ministry can execute Saddam even if the council decides not to approve it — an outcome considered highly unlikely. Saddam had expressed a preference to be executed by firing squad, but this will not be granted.
Mr Ridha said that the ministry often requested additional security from the Prime Minister’s office for the event. The identities of the hangmen were kept secret.