The alleged person who leaked the cellphone video of the Saddam Hussein hanging execution has been detained by the Iraqi government according to Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki.
Al-Malaki yesterday ordered his Interior Ministry to investigate who took the video and how it reached television and websites for public viewing.
The adviser is keeping the name of the person anonymous since he is not authorized to speak to media.
“In the past few hours, the government has arrested the person who made the video of Saddam’s execution,” the adviser said.
“He was an official who supervised the execution and now he is under investigation.”
In previous reports an Iraqi prosecutor who was present for Saddam Hussein’s execution admitted that a couple of officials did indeed have cellphones at the execution, however he denied on Wednesday a report that he had accused the country’s national security adviser of possible responsibility for the leaked video of the former dictator being hanged.
“I am not accusing Mowaffak al-Rubaie (the national security adviser), and I did not see him taking pictures,” sais Munqith al-Faroon, an Iraqi prosecutor in the case that sent Saddam to the gallows, according to reports.
“But I saw two of the government officials who were…present during the execution taking all the video of the execution, using the lights that were there for the official taping of the execution. They used mobile phone cameras. I do not know their names, but I would remember their faces,” al-Faroon said in a telephone interview.
Reports state that the procsecutors stated that two officials were openly taking video pictures, which are believed to be those which appeared on Al-Jazeera satellite television and a website within hours of Saddam’s death by hanging shortly before dawn on Saturday.
Al-Faroon told New York Times that … “one of two men he had seen holding a cell phone camera aloft to make a video of Mr. Hussein’s last moments up to and past the point where he fell through the trapdoor was Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Mr. Maliki’s national security adviser”.
Al-Faroon said there were 14 Iraqi officials, including himself and another prosecutor, as well as three hangmen present for the execution.
Al-Faroon also stated that all the officials were flown by US helicopter to the former military intelligence facility where Saddam was put to death in an execution chamber used by his own security men for years.
The prosecutor said he believed all mobile phones had been confiscated before the flight and that some of the officials’ bodyguards, who arrived by car, had smuggled the camera phones to the two officials he had seen taking the video pictures.
Al-Faroon quoted Saddam as responding “We go to heaven and you go to hell”.
The official video of the hanging that was televised in the U.S. and online never showed Saddam’s actual death and was muted and gave the impression of a dignified execution. The leaked video proved that the video which was distributed by officials that his death was not ended properly. Saddam Hussein was taunted until his last breath.
In the meantime, the Iraqi government official is currently making preparations to hang two of Saddam’s co-defendants