Saddam sentenced to hang

A shaken but defiant Saddam Hussein was sentenced to hang on Sunday for crimes against humanity, sparking joy for Shi'ites he oppressed and resentment among his fellow Sunnis across Iraq's violent sectarian divide. Saddam, 69, initially refused to stand when brought in to hear the verdict from Kurdish chief judge Raouf Abdul Rahman, at a quickfire, 45-minute hearing. When he did, visibly shaken, he yelled the defiant Arab battle cry "Allahu Akbar!" (God is Greatest) and "Long live Iraq" as the judgement was read. "The court has decided to sentence Saddam Hussein al-Majid to be hanged until he is dead for crimes against humanity," Abdul Rahman said, ignoring Saddam's earlier bombastic plea that he should face a military firing squad, not the noose.