Internet video of Saddam's hanging widely available

A grainy, unsteady video of Saddam Hussein's execution circulated on mainstream internet video sites Sunday on the day the deposed Iraqi leader was buried.
A grainy, unsteady video of Saddam Hussein's execution circulated onmainstream internet video sites Sundayonthe day thedeposed Iraqi leader was buried in the village of his birth.
This video image released by Iraqi state television shows Saddam Hussein's guards wearing ski masks and placing a noose around the deposed leader's neck moments before his execution Saturday. ((IRAQI TV/ Associated Press))

The video, believed to be captured with a cellphone camera from someone in the audience below the hanging scaffold, shows a defiant Saddam shouting at angry witnessesgathered to watchhis execution as he is being led out to the gallows trap door.

Thewitnesses can be heardshouting insults atSaddam before thetrapdoor opens and heplummetsto his death. The videothen focuses on Saddam's lifeless face for several seconds.

The videodiffers from the official video released hours after his execution, which did not contain audio and was frozen before the moment of his death.

'He was not afraid of death'

The CBC, along with several other news organizations, chose not tobroadcast the entire video,which was first broadcast by Al-Jazeera satellite television early Sunday.
Iraqis grieve beside the burial site of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein in Ouja, Iraq on Sunday. ((Bassim Daham/ Associated Press))

Inthe official video, Saddam, renowned for his flamboyant military garb during his 24-year reign over Iraq, is shown before his execution in a simple black suit and white shirt with a copy of the Qur'an in his hand.

With his hands bound behind his back, Saddam refuses a hood and does not resist when the masked hangmen slip the noose around his neck.

"He was not afraid of death," Munir Haddad, a judge on the appeals court that upheld Saddam's death sentence, told CNN Saturday.

The new video captures some of the executioners and witnesses taunting Saddam and shouting slogans from radical Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Saddam attempted to mock him, uttering his name, Haddad said.

At one point, Saddam appears to smile at those taunting him from below the gallows."Do you call thisbravery?"

Another voice says, "Please, I am begging you not to. The man is being executed."

Then Saddam begins reciting the Shahada, a Muslim prayer that says there is no god but God and Muhammad is his messenger.

Saddam made it to midway through his second recitation of the verse before the floor dropped out of the gallows.

"The tyrant has fallen," someone in the group of onlookers shouts. The official video showed a close-up of Saddam's face as he swung from the rope.

Then comes another voice: "Let him swing for three minutes."

The vengeful tone of Saddam's executioners reveals the depth of the pain Iraqis suffered under his rule, said Feisal al-Istrabadi, Iraq's ambassador to the UN.

"I don't know how to explain how a man can live his life in that way and inflict so much harm and kill so many people, and yet still get up the next morning and live with himself," Istrabadi said.

Mourners pay respects

Following Muslim custom, Saddam was buriedbefore dawnSunday in a domed religious hallin northern Iraq within 24 hours of his death.

His bodywasremovedSaturday from the gallows insideBaghdad's Central Prison and flown by U.S. helicopter to Ouja,130 kilometres north of Baghdad, for the burial.

A small gathering of family and tribal leaderstook turns paying their respects in the hall, located in the village just outside of Tikrit.

The burial place is about three kilometres from the graves of Saddam's sons, Uday and Qusay, who were killed by U.S.forces in Mosul in July 2003.

Someknelt before hisflag-draped coffin and wept. A large framed photograph of Saddam was propped up on a chair nearby.

With files from the Associated Press