Saddam Hussein Sentencing Reaction In Tulsa

Monday, November 6th 2006, 4:31 pm
By: News On 6

Saddam Hussein is sentenced to death by hanging for crimes against humanity. Reaction to the sentence is mixed in Iraq and around the world.

News on 6 anchor Craig Day spoke with one Iraqi-American living in Tulsa.

When news spread that Saddam Hussein was ordered to death by hanging Tulsan Salih Mortadha wasn't surprised. "I think he had a fair trial. More than he would give to some of his opponents or people that opposed him," said the Iraq native.

Although he's lived in Tulsa for more than 20 years and is now a US citizen, Mortadha grew up in Baghdad. He's pleased with Saddam's sentence.

Saddam Hussein will face execution for ordering nearly 150 Shiites killed following a 1982 attempt on his life. The death sentence will now go before an Iraqi appeals panel.

That appeals process for Saddam's conviction could run anywhere from three to four weeks. If the verdict and sentence are upheld, an execution would have to be carried out within 30 days.

Salih Mortadha says that would be an historic day for Iraq. "Once the sentence is finally administered, I guess, people can put some closure to the Saddam Hussein era. So it will be something in the past."

Mortadha says although very important, the conviction and sentence of Saddam is less significant than he first thought it would be. He says Saddam has become somewhat irrelevant, and that violence is the bigger issue. "It's a lot of pent up, and built up frustration or injustices done in the Saddam days and now it's finally boiling up to the top. I think people need to learn how to forgive and forget and move on with their life and build a new Iraq," said Mortadha.

Some Iraqis say Saddam's Sentence is a great day for Iraq. Others say he got what he deserved, but many others are too consumed with everyday violence in Iraq to pay too much attention to their former dictator.