Bush backs Saddam video enquiry

US President George Bush told the Iraqi prime minister tonight that "it was the right thing to do" to investigate the mobile phone video of Saddam Hussein at his hanging, the White House media spokesman said.

US President George Bush told the Iraqi prime minister tonight that "it was the right thing to do" to investigate the mobile phone video of Saddam Hussein at his hanging, the White House media spokesman said.

The unauthorised video showed the former president being taunted on the gallows and images of his dangling body afterward.

The spectacle has infuriated many of Saddam's fellow Sunni Arabs, and prompted international consternation, but the White House has refused to join criticism of how the execution was carried out.

"He simply said that it was the right thing to do, that there were concerns in this country and around the world about it and that he thought that the prime minister was doing the right thing by taking a look at it," Tony Snow said, recounting what Bush told Iraqi leader, Nouri Maliki.

Mr Bush spoke with the Iraqi prime minister by secure video conference for nearly two hours. The President has chosen not to view the video.

Although Mr Snow said that Mr Maliki told Bush Iraqi leaders were "pained at the filming", he also stressed that the two leaders talked about Saddam as "a tyrant who killed hundreds of thousands".

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