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UPDATED: 08:57, December 30, 2006
Saddam still in U.S. custody
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The toppled Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, who was said to be hanged no later than Saturday, remained in U.S. custody and has not been handed over to Iraqi authorities, the State Department said Friday.

"There has been no change in his status," State Department spokesman Tom Casey said. "He remains where he has been."

"The intention is that the transfer will be from the location where he is now to the location where the sentence will be carried out." Casey said he has "no information" on the timing of such a transfer.

Saddam Hussein will be executed no later than Saturday, according to a report reaching here.

An unidentified senior Iraqi government official said a meeting would be held around 10 p.m. Baghdad time (1900 GMT) between officials from Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's office and U. S. officials to set a time for the execution.

Iraq's highest appeals court announced on Tuesday it had upheld the death sentence for the toppled president Saddam Hussein and he would be executed within the next 30 days.

Saddam, deposed by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, was sentenced to death on Nov. 5, 2006 on crimes against humanity for killing of 148 people in Dujail village following a failed assassination attempt on him in 1982.

Source: Xinhua

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