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Saddam: If Convicted, Just Shoot Me

A thinner but combative Saddam Hussein returned to court Wednesday for the first time since his hunger strike and hospitalization, complaining he had been forced to attend the proceedings and asking to be executed by firing squad if the court sentences him to death.

"I was brought against my will directly from the hospital," Saddam told the chief judge. "The Americans insisted that I come against my will. This is not fair."

He asked the court to execute him by firing squad - "not by hanging as a common criminal" - if it convicts him of all charges and sentences him to death.

"I ask you being an Iraqi person that if you reach a verdict of death, execution, remember that I am a military man and should be killed by firing squad," he said.

Chief Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman reminded Saddam that the trial was still under way and that the court had not reached a verdict. Executions in Iraq are normally by hanging.

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