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UPDATED: 08:42, July 02, 2004
Saddam to be executed if convicted: Justice Minister
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Death penalty would be applied to the deposed Iraqi President Saddam Hussein if he was convicted of crimes he was accused of, Iraqi Justice Minister Malik Dohan al-Hassan said Thursday.

"If the serious crimes that Saddam is accused of are proven, the special court, which was founded during the occupation, could sentence him to death," local newspaper Azzaman quoted Hassan as saying.

The charges included crimes against humanity and genocide by using chemical weapons, the minister said.

The interim Iraqi government has approved reinstating the death penalty, paving the way for the trail of Saddam.

"We reactivated the death penalty. We are a state of sovereignty and have just regained our freedom," said the minister, adding "we have the right and even the obligation to use the tools that we see useful."

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