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Sentencing judge condemns Hussein's execution

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  • Judge who sentenced Hussein to death condemns manner of execution
  • Chief Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman calls hanging 'uncivilized and backward'
  • Rahman decries public nature of execution during a religious holiday
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The judge who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death has condemned the manner in which the notorious dictator was executed.

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Saddam Hussein was hanged after being found guilty for his role in the killing of 148 people in Dujail.

"It was uncivilized and backward," said Chief Judge Raouf Abdul Rahman, who spoke to reporters on Tuesday as they awaited the start of the latest trial of ex-regime members.

Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, was hanged for his role in the killings of 148 people in Dujail, a mostly Shiite town north of Baghdad, after a 1982 attempt to assassinate the then-Iraqi leader.

The hanging -- which took place as hostilities between Sunnis and Shiites were erupting -- occurred December 30, 2006, when Sunnis began celebrating the religious holiday Eid al-Adha.

A cell phone video showedHussein being taunted by Shiites and included bitter exchanges between Hussein and Shiite witnesses. There were shouts of praise for Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, whose father was believed to have been murdered by Hussein's regime.

After Hussein was hanged, Shiite witnesses danced around his body, chanting celebratory slogans.

"In Iraqi law, there are no public executions," Abdul Rahman said. "Eid is a time of love, tranquility and reconciliation, not a time for executions."

None of the Iraqi government's top officials attended the execution and Hussein was buried in Awja, near Tikrit, in the same cemetery as his sons Uday and Qusay.

His execution was condemned at the time, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a leading advocate of Hussein's overthrow, saying its manner was "completely wrong."

The Vatican said the killing of the guilty was not a route to justice or reconciliation, while Russia warned that it would worsen the situation in the country. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

CNN's Jomana Karadsheh contributed to this report

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