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Iraqi Official: Saddam to be Executed Before 6 A.M. Baghdad Time


An Iraqi official says ousted Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein will be executed before six a.m. today Baghdad time, that is three hours Universal Time.

The official, who declined to be named, said the time was agreed upon during a meeting in Baghdad between U.S. and Iraqi officials.

An Iraqi appeals court judge said earlier that all documents for the execution are ready.

The former Iraqi dictator was still in U.S. military custody late Friday.

Published reports say lawyers for Saddam have made a last-minute appeal in a U.S. court seeking a temporary restraining order to block the execution.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said those who oppose the death sentence for Saddam are insulting the memory of his victims.

The U.S. Defense Department said U.S. forces in Iraq are bracing for any upsurge in violence that may be triggered by Saddam's execution.

U.S. forces captured Saddam in December 2003 -- eight months after a U.S.-led invasion ousted him from power.

Last month, an Iraqi court sentenced the former dictator to hang for ordering the killing of 148 Shi'ite Muslims in the town of Dujail in 1982.

On Tuesday, an Iraqi appeals court said the execution should be carried out within 30 days.

Saddam also was being tried on charges of genocide for a military campaign against Iraqi Kurds in the 1980s. Prosecutors say 180-thousand Kurds were killed.

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