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Annan opposes death penalty

UNITED NATIONS -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan expressed hope yesterday that Saddam Hussein's capture would accelerate reconciliation among Iraqis, but he said the United Nations could not support bringing the former dictator before a tribunal that might sentence him to death.


The capture "is a positive development because Saddam Hussein has cast a rather long shadow over developments and over the transition process," Annan said. "With his capture, that shadow has been removed."

Annan stressed that any trial for Hussein must meet international standards, and he reiterated the longstanding opposition to the death penalty in any UN-sanctioned tribunal. "As secretary general, as the UN, as an organization, we are not going to now turn around and support the death penalty," he said.


Saddam Hussein Saddam Hussein after his capture by US forces. (Reuters Photo)
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