CAIRO, (Reuters) – Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has said pictures of the execution of Saddam Hussein were “revolting and barbaric” and that experts considered his trial under occupation illegal.
In his first comments on the execution, which took place on the first day of Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice, last Saturday, Mubarak told the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth the timing was “unreasonable”.
In the interview, he said he had written to U.S. President George W. Bush asking him to postpone the execution, arguing that it would not be helpful at that time. He did not say how Bush responded. “Then the pictures of the execution were revolting and barbaric, and I am not discussing here whether he deserved it or not. As for the trial, all experts in international law said it was an illegal trial because it was under occupation. “Also, there was a conspiracy to carry out the execution before the end of the year,” he added.
Mubarak and Saddam were friendly in the 1980s but fell out over the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Mubarak had advised the United States not to invade Iraq to overthrow Saddam, saying that it would lead to chaos.
The Egyptian state news agency MENA published an Arabic version of the interview with Mubarak on Friday.