Bush says Saddam should pay the 'ultimate penalty'

17 December 2003
US President Bush on 16 December said that former Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein - who was arrested by US forces in Iraq on 13 December - should face the death penalty for crimes committed during his rule. In an interview with the US' ABC News, Bush said that the former president should face the 'ultimate penalty', but that the decision on Saddam's fate should be made by the Iraqi people. 'Let us just see what penalty he gets, but I think he ought to receive the ultimate penalty... for what he has done to his people,' Bush said. 'I mean, he is a torturer, a murderer, they had rape rooms. This is a disgusting tyrant who deserves justice, the ultimate justice.' Bush's comments came days after UK Prime Minister Tony Blair said that the he did not advocate the death penalty.

In London, Blair said that Saddam's future 'should be left to the Iraqis - provided they have a proper and fair and independent judicial system'. Blair said that people are only tried internationally if there was not the capacity for a trial within the country in which the crimes were committed. 'There is something like the remains of 400,000 human beings that have been found in mass graves already,' Blair told the British Forces Broadcasting Service. 'There is a strong feeling in Iraq that he should be tried in Iraq.' (MEED 16:12:03)

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