segunda-feira, setembro 20, 2004

Saddam Hussein

Saddam Hussein begs for mercy

CAIRO: Toppled Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is miserable sitting in a jail cell awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity and has begged for mercy, Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said in an interview published on Monday.

"He is distraught and depressed," Allawi told the Arabic daily Al-Hayat in an interview from London where the Iraqi leader is currently on a visit.

"Saddam and his cronies are not the all-powerful men that they are sometimes portrayed as in the media," said Allawi, whose government took power from the US occupation in late June.

"Saddam transmitted a message to me begging for mercy. He said they had been working for the public interest and their goal was not to do harm."

But Allawi said his response was: "It is for the courts to decide."

The man who ruled Iraq with an iron fist for 24 years was charged with seven crimes, including the massacre of Kurds and Shiite Muslims, and the invasion of Kuwait, at his first court appearance in Baghdad in July.

A defiant and unrepentant Saddam insisted before a young special tribunal judge that he was still the legitimate president of Iraq, defended his 1990 invasion of Kuwait and gave a lecture on points of law.

He had been captured in a hole near his northern hometown of Tikrit in December; eight months after US-led invasion forces toppled his regime."

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