Key figures in Iraq and around the world have been reacting after a Baghdad court sentenced former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to death by hanging for crimes against humanity.
IRAQI PRIME MINISTER NOURI MALIKI
The justice handed out to him is a response to the call from thousands of sons and sisters of those sentenced and executed by Saddam...
Maybe this will help alleviate the pain of the widows and the orphans and those who have been ordered to bury their loved ones in secrecy, and those who have been forced to suppress their feelings and suffering, and those who have paid at the hands of torturers, and those who have been deprived of the basic human rights, like education and profession.
IRAQI PRESIDENT JALAL TALABANI
I think the trial was fair. Those people had the full right to say
what they intended.
I must respect the independence of the Iraqi judiciary. Until the end I must be silent... because my comments could affect the situation.
IRAQI PARLIAMENT DEPUTY SPEAKER KHALID AL-ATTIYAH
We expected the maximum penalty against the criminal Saddam Hussein and his henchmen because they committed horrible crimes against the Iraqi people, the Arabs, Muslims and the entire international community.
Because of this, we are not surprised at this verdict, quite the contrary; this verdict was a long time in coming.
IRANIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESMAN MOHAMMAD ALI HOSSEINI
The Islamic republic of Iran welcomes the death sentence.
Even if Saddam and his accomplices are the agents who carried out these crimes, we cannot forget the Western protectors of Saddam who by supporting him prepared the ground for the execution of his crimes.
US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH
Saddam Hussein's trial is a milestone in the Iraq people's efforts to replace the rule of a tyrant with the rule of law.
It's a major achievement for Iraq's young democracy, and its constitutional government.
FINNISH PRESIDENCY OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
The EU opposes capital punishment in all cases and under all
circumstances and it should not be carried out in this case either.
UK FOREIGN SECRETARY MARGARET BECKETT
I welcome that Saddam Hussein and the other defendants have faced justice and have been held to account for their crimes.
Appalling crimes were committed by Saddam Hussein's regime. It is right that those accused of such crimes against the Iraqi people should face Iraqi justice.
Today's verdicts and sentences by the Iraqi Higher Tribunal comes at the end of a trail during which evidence has been offered and challenged in the full glare of media scrutiny.
SPANISH PRIME MINISTER JOSE LUIS RODRIGUEZ ZAPATERO
Saddam Hussein, like any other citizen or political leader, has to answer for his actions, for what he has done in his government task.
It is well known that for a long time the EU has not been in favour of
the death penalty. Obviously it is a penalty which is not provided for in any legal system in the EU or, of course, in our country.
KONSTANTIN KOSACHEV, FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN OF RUSSIAN DUMA
Today's ruling was quite predictable, given the attitudes to Saddam Hussein's regime that exist both in and beyond Iraqi society.
The punishment was deliberately chosen to be the harshest. It is another matter that the death sentence will clearly split Iraqi society still further.
On the other hand, I think that the death sentence on Saddam Hussein is unlikely to be carried out. It will be stopped one way or another, either at the level of the Iraqi president or by other means.
This is more of a moral ruling, revenge that modern Iraq is taking on the Saddam Hussein regime.
FRENCH FOREIGN MINISTER PHILIPPE DOUSTE-BLAZY
France notes the sentence made by the Iraqi court at the end of the Saddam Hussein trial. This decision belongs to the Iraqi people.
In the climate of violence Iraq is currently experiencing, I hope this decision will not lead to new tensions and that the Iraqis will show restraint, whatever community they belong to.
IRISH FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY
The minister welcomes the end of this long legal process.
Ireland and its EU partners have made it clear in the past to Iraqi
authorities that we are opposed to courts applying the death sentence.
Ireland is also opposed to it being applied as a penalty in this case.
CARDINAL RENATO MARTINO, HEAD OF THE VATICAN'S COUNCIL FOR JUSTICE AND PEACE
For me, punishing a crime with another crime - which is
what killing for vindication is - would mean that we are still
at the point of demanding an eye for an eye, a tooth for a
MALCOLM SMART, DIRECTOR OF AMNESTY INTERATIONAL'S MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA PROGRAMME
Obviously we deplore the verdict of the death penalty against Saddam and one of his co-accused.
We don't consider it was a fair process. The court was not impartial. There were not adequate steps taken to protect the security of defence lawyers and witnesses...
Every individual has a right to a fair trial, even people accused of the crimes of the magnitude that Saddam Hussein faced, and this has not been a fair trial.
INDIAN EXTERNAL AFFAIRS MINISTER PRANAB MUKHERJEE
Such life and death decisions require credible due process of law, which does not appear to be victors' justice and is acceptable to the people of Iraq as well as the international community.
We hope that this verdict will not add to the suffering of the people of Iraq.