Iraq Executes Saddam-Era Vice President

Taha Yaseen Ramadan in a Baghdad court on Feb. 12, 2007. Credit: DSK/AFP/Getty Images. i i

This video grab, taken from Iraq's State Television al-Iraqiya on Feb. 12, shows Ramadan listening to the death sentence handed down by the court, months after originally being sentenced to life in prison. The court judged his previous life sentence unduly lenient. TV Image/DSK/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption TV Image/DSK/AFP/Getty Images
Taha Yaseen Ramadan in a Baghdad court on Feb. 12, 2007. Credit: DSK/AFP/Getty Images.

This video grab, taken from Iraq's State Television al-Iraqiya on Feb. 12, shows Ramadan listening to the death sentence handed down by the court, months after originally being sentenced to life in prison. The court judged his previous life sentence unduly lenient.

TV Image/DSK/AFP/Getty Images

The current Iraqi government executed another former member of Saddam Hussein's government in the early morning on Tuesday. Taha Yassin Ramadan, who served as Saddam's vice president, was hanged for his role in the torture and killing of 148 Shiites in the early 1980s.

The Iraqi government requested Monday night that the United States turn Ramadan over to their custody. The official account as given to the Associated Press says a prosecutor read the verdict against Ramadan and the sentence to be carried out.

The 69-year-old former vice president recited prayers before stepping into the gallows. He was dropped and he died at 3:05 a.m. local time. Ramadan's son told Iraqi television that he will bury father in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, near the tomb of Saddam Hussein.

Ramadan was well known to Iraqis. He was a Baathist from Mosul who rose through the party and government ranks as minister of industry and commander of the Popular Army — a back-up force of people compelled to serve in the Iran-Iraq war. Hussein made him vice president in 1991.

Ramadan had a relationship with Saddam dating back to the 1950s.

This is the fourth execution to come out of the Dujail trial which prosecuted those responsible for revenge attacks by the government on the northern Shiite town of the same name. Dujail was the site of an assassination attempt on Saddam.

The court initially condemned Ramadan to life in prison, but last month it was changed to a death sentence.

Hussein himself was hanged Dec. 30, 2006. The top official of his Revolutionary Court and his intelligence chief followed. That man, Saddam's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim, was accidentally decapitated in the process.

Officials took great care in weighing Ramadan and measuring the rope to make sure that mistake wasn't repeated.

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