06 October 2006 :former US attorney general Ramsey Clark, a member of Saddam Hussein's defence team, predicted that a bloodbath would follow should an Iraqi court trying the former president have him executed.
At a news conference, Clark said he feared that should Saddam and the others be hanged, "catastrophic violence" would follow that would lead to "the end of civilization as we know it in the birthplace of civilization, Mesopotamia. Total, unmitigated chaos."
Saddam's Sunni Muslim tribe of 1.5 million would be enraged over what they would consider the revenge killing of the former president by the Shiite-controlled and US-sponsored government, Clark said.
Saddam and the other defendants, who include his vice-president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, were being tried for genocide in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi Kurds during the late 1980s. They already had been tried for murder and torture in the deaths of 148 Iraqi Shiites from the Iraqi town of Dujail who allegedly conspired to kill Saddam in 1981. The court that tried them was to have returned its verdict on October 16, but it announced earlier in the week that it would not do so.