All personal effects of Saddam Hussein were entrusted to one of his lawyers. The ex-raïs is therefore in his pajamas when the Americans hand him over to plainclothes police. The nights are cool, he keeps his thick coat on. As soon as he arrives on the scene, a violent verbal altercation opposes him to his new and ephemeral jailers, whom he calls terrorists and valets of the occupier.
A senior official attacks him: “Everything we are going through today is your fault! You destroyed us. You have overwhelmed us with misery and made us live in destitution.
– I destroyed your enemies, Iranians and Americans. I saved you from misery and come out of poverty.
– Straight to hell!
– God curse you! »
As he climbed onto the platform where the gallows stand, Saddam lost none of his pride. “Iraq is nothing without me!” he says to a manager, the only one among the people around the victim not to wear a balaclava. During the broadcast of images shot by an “official” camera, his face will be blurred.
August 2, 1990: Saddam Hussein’s Grand Design
The ex-raïs is chained, feet and fists bound. As soon as he climbs the steps leading to the gallows, he no longer pays attention to what surrounds him. ” Ya Allah ! he begs. No fear is perceptible on his face. Detail: there is not a single executioner but five. Saddam refuses to blindfold. The official images stop when the condemned man is placed standing on the trapdoor, the rope around his neck. Other images taken by mobile phones report the detail of the hanging.
The day of Eid el-Kebir
A cleric chants a few verses from the Koran. Saddam recites the Muslim Profession of Faith, the shahada. Four flashes crackle. Photos taken by other cell phones will be the world’s headlines the next day. While the clerk is still mumbling, a first cry rings out:
“For Mohamed Baqer Sadr [un grand ayatollah, oncle de Moqtada Sadr, pendu par Saddam en avril 1980 pour intelligence avec l’Iran].
– Moqtada! Moqtada! Moqtada! shout in chorus of the members of support.
– Haya roujoula! ” , retorts Saddam, which could be translated as “Is that how you are men? », in the Bedouin sense of the term.
“The man is being executed,” says an unknown voice, which turns out to be that of Mounqidh al-Faroun, the prosecutor who had requested the death penalty during the trial. He threatens to leave the room, which would cause the execution to be suspended. The national security adviser, Mouwaffaq Roubaï, reasoned with him and the execution could go to completion.
Saddam Hussein, revelations from beyond the grave
Saddam again begins the shahada : “There is no God but God and Mohammed…” The hatch opens. We will not have given him time to complete the formula. The images of agony are fleeting and blurry. Then a static shot shows the corpse of the raïs in a shroud. The face is bruised. Consequence of the hanging? Traces of post-mortem blows, the result of the relentlessness of part of the assistance on the remains of the victim? The circumstances of the execution are overwhelming for the Iraqi government and its American protectors. Even though the execution took place before dawn, the Sunni community will remember that the former dictator was executed on a holy day [Aïd el-Kébir]. It was a reflection of the justice that pronounced the sentence, characterized by a crying amateurism. A parody of a trial and an execution as we see in the Wrong westerns.