Saddam has been "held to account", says British FM

British Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett said on Saturday that the hanging of former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein meant he had been "held to account" for his crimes.

"I welcome the fact (he) has been tried by an Iraqi court for at least some of the appalling crimes he committed against the Iraqi people," she was quoted by a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) news report on Saturday morning.

But she noted that Britain is opposed to the death penalty.

"The British government does not support the use of the death penalty, in Iraq or anywhere else. We advocate an end to the death penalty worldwide, regardless of the individual or the crime," Beckett said, adding "We have made our position very clear to the Iraqi authorities, but we respect their decision as that of a sovereign nation."

The Foreign Secretary also predicted that Iraq would continue to face "huge challenges" after Saddam.

Saddam and two codefendants were sentenced to be hanged late Friday night by an Iraqi court for the killings of 148 Shias in 1982.

Source: Xinhua

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