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Last Updated: Sunday, 31 December 2006, 12:13 GMT
Video shows taunts at execution
Saddam Hussein on gallows in latest footage
It is not known who filmed the latest footage of the execution

New footage of Saddam Hussein's final moments reveals the former Iraqi president exchanged taunts and insults with witnesses at his execution.

The grainy images are believed to have been filmed on a mobile phone.

Unlike on the silent, official film showing a subdued Saddam Hussein, the execution is a charged, angry scene.

In it people chant the name of radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr and tell Saddam Hussein to "go to hell", while the former leader mocks their bravery.

And unlike the official film, which was released on Saturday, the new video shows the moment that the gallows trapdoor opens, sending Saddam Hussein to his death.

Some of the guards started to taunt him - by shouting Islamic words
Judge Munir Haddad, execution witness

It also has images of Saddam Hussein's face as he swings dead from the noose.

The amateur footage first appeared on websites and then excerpts began airing on major news channels.

It is not known who filmed the video and whether its release was officially sanctioned. However, it is clear that the seemingly quiet, dignified send off, portrayed on the official video does not tell the whole story.

Shot from below the gallows, the video begins with Saddam Hussein, surrounded men by masked men, being led out onto the trapdoor.

The darkened scene is frequently lit up by flashes from people taking photographs.

As he shuffles forward, the crowd of witnesses standing below can be heard talking in conversational tones, but as the noose is placed around his neck the crowd becomes more agitated, with some shouting out insults.

"Do you consider this bravery?
Saddam Hussein, on new video

One of the unseen observers shouts "go to hell", others chant the name of Shia cleric Moqtada Sadr and of Muhammad Sadiq Sadr, his father who was murdered by Saddam Hussein's agents.

In response Saddam Hussein is sarcastic, asking "do you consider this bravery?"

He begins intoning the shahada, the Islamic creed, saying "there is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad" - at which point he is cut off as the trapdoor opens and he falls.

Matching accounts

Noise breaks out, and a voice shouts out "the tyrant has fallen, damn him!" as the camera swings around wildly for a few seconds before settling on a close up image of Saddam Hussein still swinging on the noose, his lifeless face upturned, eyes open.

I feel saddened by the death of Saddam, not because he deserved to live but because it is taking place under US occupation of Iraq
Nafeesa Zafar, Pakistan

Arab news channels have run abridged versions of the crudely shot film, stopping short of the moment of execution.

The latest video tallies with an account of the event given by one of the witnesses present.

In an interview with the BBC's John Simpson, Judge Munir Haddad said that as Saddam Hussein was led up the steps to the gallows he was reciting "God is Great!" and also some political slogans like: "Down with the Americans!" and "Down with the Invaders!"

"We're going to Heaven and our enemies will rot in Hell!" he said, according to Judge Haddad, and called for forgiveness and love amongst Iraqis, but also stressed that the Iraqis should fight the Americans and the Persians.

"Some of the guards started to taunt him - by shouting Islamic words. A cleric who was present asked Saddam to recite some spiritual words. Saddam did so, but with sarcasm. These were his last words," Judge Haddad said.


Translation of Arabic subtitles accompanying the latest execution footage as broadcast on al-Jazeera TV station:

[Saddam] Oh God.

[Voices] May God's blessings be upon Muhammad and his household.

[Voices] And may God hasten their appearance and curse their enemies.

[Voices] Moqtada [Al-Sadr]...Moqtada...Moqtada.

[Saddam] Do you consider this bravery?

[Voice] Long live Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.

[Voice] To hell.

[Voice] Please do not. The man is being executed. Please no, I beg you to stop.

[Saddam] There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is the messenger of God. There is no God but Allah and I testify that Muhammad...

At this point the video stops and the sound of the trapdoors opening is heard in the background.






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