Saturday, December 30, 2006

Saddam execution - the official French reaction

Not too many tears shed...

French Foreign Ministry
Q - (…) Does France think Saddam Hussein’s trial was fair? What do you think of the death sentence? Can we have your reaction?

We’ve already stated our position on this matter. We said that from our point of view it was a sovereign decision made by the Iraqi court and we recalled our customary opposition to the death sentence. Those are the two points we commented on. We’ve not changed our position.

Q - Do you think Saddam Hussein’s execution will make the situation in Iraq worse as France said a few months ago when the verdict was given? There’s an impression today that France is backing off a bit?

I don’t recall that we insisted on that point in particular. What we can see is that the situation in Iraq is far from stable, has even deteriorated somewhat. Let me say again, we consider the decision that has been taken to be a sovereign decision by the Iraqi court. We’ve also taken note of the fairly calming words from Saddam Hussein himself in a letter. We can hope that these appeals for calm are heeded.

(…)Q - You don’t have a political point of view about the decision?

Yes, I’ve just said we consider it a sovereign decision by the Iraqi court.

Q - But that’s not political.

You’re the one who says so. I also told you that we condemn the death penalty all over the world and in all circumstances, including in this specific case.

Q - Are you in contact with the Iraqi authorities and are you working with them to ensure that the sentence isn’t carried out immediately?

I’ve no knowledge of any particular intervention with respect to a sovereign decision by the Iraqi judicial authorities.

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