[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Wed Jul 7 10:01:57 CDT 2004
Iraq may have death penalty for limited time: paper
Iraq is studying how to reinstate the death penalty for a limited period,
but the decision is not linked to the trial of former leader Saddam
Hussein, Iraqs interim prime minister said in comments published on
We want a restricted death penalty, for a limited time, until there are
elections and Iraqis can decide for themselves, Iyad Allawi told Spanish
daily El Pais in an interview.
He said the interim government had not yet made a decision on how the
death penalty, suspended during the US-led occupation, should be
When Saddam was in power, people were condemned to death just for speaking
ill of him. We want to abolish those extremes and limit capital punishment
to very concrete cases and for a limited time. We are thinking, for
example, about (what to do) in the case of murder, he told the newspaper.
He said the decision was unrelated to the trial of Saddam -- accused of
war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide -- but was meant to deal
with indiscriminate murdering by terrorists.
The interim government on Wednesday signed into effect a new security law
giving itself wider powers to combat militants.
(source: Khaleej Times)
Former Thai senator gets death sentence for doctor's murder
A Bangkok court on Wednesday sentenced a former senator to death on
charges of arranging the murder of a prominent female doctor with whom he
had a business dispute.
Sukhum Cherdchuen was a serving senator when he was accused in 1997 of
masterminding the Oct. 25, 1996, murder of Dr. Nitcharee Makarasarn of
Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University, who was shot to death near her home
while driving to work.
3 other defendants, Thanasak Yimdee, Sarawut Chaiyasing and Wichian
Jittathanakorn, were also found guilty of conspiring to kill Nitcharee, a
charge that, like murder, carries the death penalty.
However, they were sentenced to life in prison because they cooperated
with police. A 5th defendant, Chatchapat Jittathanakorn, died before the
trial could be concluded.
It is not known if Sukhum is going to appeal the verdict by the Bangkok
Criminal Court. The court said Sukhum had hired other gunmen on 2 previous
occasions to kill Nitcharee, with whom he had been a partner in land and
school development projects.
Sukhum maintained his innocence throughout the trial.
(source: Associated Press)
Journalist testifies on Afrifa's execution----Students & crowd Shouted:
"let the blood flow."
Mr. Joss Aryee, a Journalist now working with the Chronicle on Tuesday
gave a vivid description of the execution of the Generals on June 26,
1979, saying he could not understand why the soldiers made General Afrifa
to go through so much agony before he died.
Mr Aryee, testifying at a public hearing of the National Reconciliation
Commission (NRC) in Accra said the 6 Generals, who were executed that day
were Akuffo, Bob Kotei, Afrifa, Yaw Boakye, Roger Felli and Joy Amedume.
Mr Aryee, who said he was then working with the Ghana News Agency (GNA)
and attached to the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) Secretariat
when the Generals were executed, said he got to the Teshie execution
grounds at about 0545.
He said the Generals were driven there in two Pinzgauer ambulances, with
bodies of General Acheampong and Utuka, executed a day earlier, in one,
and 6 living Generals in another, preceded by a jeep equipped with gun on
top, and communications van around 0915 to a place besieged by a waiting
The Witness said the 6 who were to be executed got down with their faces
tied, while people booed at them.
Mr. Aryee said they were taken to the execution grounds and were tied at
the chest and knee to the sticks adding that barely 5 minutes later they
were shot by soldiers hidden behind the tent.
He said they all fell with blood stains in their shirts adding that a
short while later Afrifa began to rise screaming "I'm not dead. I'm not
Witness said Lance Corporal Tasiri Adongo , a member of the AFRC, ordered
press photographers not to take any pictures of the executions. The
officer commanding the soldiers got close to Afrifa and fired at him
adding that the bullet rather hit the sand bags behind while the crowd,
especially the students shouted: "let the blood flow." Mr. Aryee said the
officer then fired at Afrifa in the stomach, the chest and shoulder.
He said Afrifa started to rise again, adding "at that instance somebody
offered the Officer an SMG and he fired at Afrifa at the head who fell
"Immediately after the executions, an aircraft flew by and wriggled its
wings, which one of the soldiers explained to mean it's a sign of
congratulations for a good work done."
He said a woman who drove past in a Mercedes Benz car was crying when she
saw what was going on, adding that some of the soldiers beat her with
their belts while some people in the crowd threw stones at her.
Mr. Aryee said since there was no doctor to confirm that the generals were
dead he went to the Guard Post to file his first "take", first few
paragraphs of his story, adding that an officer was speaking to someone on
the telephone saying " we have finished slaughtering the cows".
He said he gave a vivid description of what went on at the shooting range
butt he came back to the office 45 minutes later only to be told that the
story had been "killed".
Mr. Aryee said he was informed that an order came from Burma Camp that the
story should be killed because people would be sentimental about it.
He said he later wrote a bland story, which was carried, adding that he
later managed to get his original copy published in the West Africa
In an answer to a question from the commissioners about the effect of
witnessing the executions had on him, Mr Aryee said he was really
disturbed especially with Afrifa's torture before he died adding, "that
was very wicked."
He likened the crowd to an ancient Roman arena where mobs did not think
about their actions, adding that he saw a lot of blood thirst in
Ghanaians, especially the students at the time.
"Journalism sometimes makes you cynical because it exposes you to a whole
lot of things" Mr. Aryee added.
The commissioners advised him to see their counsellors since some form of
counselling would make him a lot of good.
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