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Last Updated: Monday, 6 November 2006, 12:32 GMT
World press responds coolly to verdict
World Press

Newspapers across the world highlight the verdict in the trial of Saddam Hussein, but few derive much comfort from the death sentence the court imposed.

There is widespread concern that the violence will continue, or even increase, with one Arab commentator arguing that the world is witnessing the "crumbling of Iraq".

Some papers accuse President George W Bush of staging the verdict to win votes in the US mid-term elections on Tuesday.

GHASSAN SHARBIL IN PAN-ARAB AL-HAYAT

There is no reason to celebrate as Iraq was condemned to death before Saddam Hussein. We are witnessing the crumbling of Iraq... There is no reason for celebration as we fear that thousands of young Saddams will be born in every locality in Iraq and will make killing their trade.

EGYPT'S AL-JUMHURIYA

Whether Saddam lives or is hanged, this will most certainly not affect the strength of the Iraqi national resistance against occupation because this resistance emanates from the free Iraqi people and translates its hopes in liberation from the occupiers, the recovery of its sovereignty and dignity in order to live proud like all other peoples.

IRAN'S E'TEMAD-E MELLI

Saddam's death sentence will make the current difficulties in Iraq more complicated... America is trying to hide its role and that of other Westerners in supporting the Ba'ath regime. On the other hand it is trying to increase tensions between the Shias and the Sunnis in Iraq.

ZVI BAREL IN ISRAEL'S HA'ARETZ

A court-ordered execution lacks the cathartic power it might otherwise have had. It can neither close a chapter nor open a new era. It is just another death sentence - one of the dozens that Iraqi militias carry out each day against civilians from rival communities. For this reason, the verdict will also have no real impact on what is happening on the streets of Baghdad and Mosul.

LOU YANG IN CHINA'S XIN JING BAO

Regardless of whether or not Saddam is executed, there will in fact be no substantial impact in terms of easing Iraq's security predicament. On the contrary, the sentence will trigger a new round of conflict in Iraq.

HONG KONG'S SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST

No matter how grave the charges, a fair trial - which, as promised, meets international standards - has to be the basic principle followed by all courts. Saddam has clearly not been given such a trial and without amends, Iraq's efforts to move forward will be jeopardised.

MIKHAIL ROSTOVSKIY IN RUSSIA'S MOSKOVSKY KOMSOMOLETS

In terms of the gravity of the crimes committed by him, Saddam deserves to be hanged 1,000 times... Saddam is one of the biggest serial killers in modern history. Saddam drowned Iraq in blood.

MEHMET BARLAS IN TURKEY'S SABAH

Saddam's death sentence will be carried out in a month. I do not think this death sentence will open the way for the US to withdraw from Iraq. People in Iraq, who are from different sects, different ideologies and ethnic groups slaughtering each other, will not look at Saddam's destiny and say: "It is enough; let us make peace and unite."

INDONESIA'S KOMPAS

Regardless of Saddam's guilt, his trial has from the start raised controversy because it was seen as part of the machinations of the United States... Some even speculated that Saddam's verdict has been decided "deliberately" ahead of the US Congress elections on Tuesday.

PAKISTAN'S NAWA-I-WAQT

We say the death sentence for Saddam is a continuation of the inhuman and wild actions started by the US after 9/11. The use of the death sentence to win victory in mid-term polls is the worst game to play. We think the US President Bush, Rumsfeld, and Condoleezza Rice have committed far more crimes than Saddam.

SPAIN'S EL MUNDO

Saddam being a murderer is one thing, punishing him with the death penalty is another. His crimes must lead to him spending the rest of his life behind bars. Nothing justifies the ending of a human life, but, in addition, if he is executed those who do so will be wasting an excellent opportunity to show that, as they say, a different order, better than the one before the invasion, is arising in Iraq.

FRANCE'S LE FIGARO

The trial has not helped to reconcile Iraqis with one another, because it has never succeeded in ridding itself of its original sin - that of having been organised by - and thus, partly for - the occupying power... It is a pity that this verdict might give the impression of legitimising a military intervention undertaken under false pretences, when it should, above all, be a founding act of the law-based state after 24 years of dictatorship.

SOUTH AFRICA'S CAPE TIMES

Instead of closing a dark chapter in Iraq's history, the tribunal, and the verdict it issued, may in fact lead to further instability and bloodshed... At best, therefore, Saddam's trial and conviction should serve as no more than a symbolic victory over his brutal reign. However, to give Iraq a better chance of securing a more stable and viable future, it would be counter-productive to execute Saddam.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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