U.S. President George W.Bush said Thursday he wished the execution of Saddam Hussein "had gone in a more dignified way."

But Bush saidthe former Iraqi dictatorwas given justice, unlike the victims of his regime.

"My personal reaction is that Saddam Hussein was given a trial that he was unwilling to give the thousands of people he killed," Bush told reporters Thursday at a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"He was given a fair trial — something he was unwilling to give thousands of Iraqi citizens who he brutalized."

"I wish, obviously, that the proceedings had gone on in a more dignified way," Bush said. "But, nevertheless, he was given justice. The thousands of people he killed were not."

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Malikihas launched an investigation to learn who leaked a video of Saddam's hanging and who taunted him moments before his death.

The White House has been reluctant to criticize the proceedings, which have been condemned by some world leaders as deplorable.

Bush said he had spoken to al-Malikiabout it, and "appreciated" that hewas looking into it.

The video, believed to be filmed on a witness's cellphone during Saturday's execution, was circulated widely on the internet and was broadcast by Al-Jazeera television

On it, witnesses can be heard shouting insults at Saddam moments before the gallows trap door opens and the deposed Iraqi leader plummets to his death.

With files from the Associated Press