Hours before Saddam Hussein’s execution, the ousted Iraqi leader asked his lawyers not to appeal for his life and accused the United States and Iran of collaborating to hang him, according to a copy of his will.
As part of Saddam’s final wishes, he gave his chief lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi the right to “decide whatever is related to me except appealing for the life of Saddam Hussein to any of the presidents, kings, Arabs or foreigners,” read a copy of the will obtained by The Associated Press.
Saddam dictated his will to al-Dulaimi during a meeting that also included his co-defendants, according to a copy of the will that was faxed to the AP from another Saddam lawyer, Amin el-Deeb.
El-Deeb said the meeting took place 24 hours before Saddam’s December 30 execution.
El-Deeb said he was not present at the meeting, and numerous attempts to reach al-Dulaimi went unanswered. Attempts to reach other defence attorneys for Saddam also were not successful.
In the will, Saddam said he believed “American and Safavid intentions are behind these decisions” to execute him. Safavid refers to the Persian (Iranian) dynasty that ruled Iran from the late 1400s to the 1720s and converted the country from the Sunni to Shiite Muslim sect.
He also asked to be buried in either Ouja, his birthplace, or in Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province where many of the country’s Sunni Arab insurgents are fighting.
According to the will, Saddam said that he left the final decision to his daughter Raghad, who lives in exile in the Jordanian capital, Amman.
Saddam was sentenced to death on November 5 for the killing of 148 Shiites in Dujail after a 1982 attempt to assassinate him. On Dec. 26, Iraq’s highest court rejected his appeal.
The former dictator was executed in an unruly scene that brought worldwide criticism of the Iraqi government. Video of the execution, recorded on a cell phone camera, showed the former dictator being taunted on the gallows.
In an interview with The Sunday Times in London earlier this month, Saddam’s youngest daughter, Rana, said her father also urged his daughters not to plead for his life.
But before his execution and the will meeting, al-Dulaimi on December 28 urged international and legal organisations including the Arab League and United Nations to “rapidly prevent” the Americans from handing Saddam to the Iraqis for his execution.
After his hanging, Saddam’s body was taken to a US military base in Tikrit, 80 miles north of the capital, Baghdad.
He was interred in the nearby village of Ouja, where he was born 69 years ago.
Hundreds of clan members and supporters visited Saddam’s grave, which was likely to become a shrine to the fallen leader.