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Awad al-Bandar in court in April 2006 (epa)
January 5, 2007 -- The European Union has criticized the planned executions of two aides of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, stressing that it opposes the death penalty in all circumstances.
Germany, which currently holds the EU Presidency, warned that the executions could deepen the divide between Iraq's Sunnis and Shi'a.
Hussein's half-brother, Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, and former chief judge Awad al-Bandar were convicted along with Hussein, but it remains unclear when the executions will be carried out.