Iraq likely to hang Saddam, says former envoy

Saddam Hussein is "very likely" to be hanged if found guilty of war crimes and genocide, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's former special envoy to Iraq, believes. He said he expected capital punishment to be reinstated now power has been transferred from coalition authorities, which suspended its use, to the interim government.

Saddam Hussein is "very likely" to be hanged if found guilty of war crimes and genocide, Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Britain's former special envoy to Iraq, believes. He said he expected capital punishment to be reinstated now power has been transferred from coalition authorities, which suspended its use, to the interim government.

But he said on BBC 1's Breakfast with Frost yesterday that although execution would go against British legal practice, the process by which the judgment is reached would be more important than the sentencing itself. "This is now an Iraqi trial," he said. "The important thing, internationally and indeed for Iraqis, is that this trial should be a fair one, under recognised and acceptable rules of procedure."

He refused to comment on whether the Iraq war was worthwhile or not, but Sir Jeremy was keen to stress the "opportunity" the country had to develop its own brand of democracy. The war, he said, had produced "an Iraq that is different from the Saddam era, an Iraq that is different from its region in terms of the beginnings of democracy Iraqi-style, not Western-style".

It would take time, he said, for the country to be pronounced a fully-functioning democracy, and the ability of the Iraqi authorities to hold fair elections would be crucial. "With any new democracy, you don't know it has settled in and stabilised until the second or third election. They have got to be able to change a government, not just bring one in."

Sir Jeremy also suggested that errors of judgement by the US administration had ruled out a smooth start to the transition period, with continuing violence throughout the country presenting serious problems. He hinted that the coalition had allowed itself to be misled about the size of the security challenge after the invasion.

"There were different analyses. Those making the decisions chose the wrong analysis. They were influenced by Ahmed Chalabi [the Iraqi exile], who wanted the thing to happen, and therefore wanted to make it seem more easy." Sir Jeremy said he thought British troops should leave Iraq by 2006.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there