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Iraqi Government Approves Executions

President Talabani (file photo) 17 August 2005 (RFE/RL) - Iraq's presidency has signed death sentences for three men convicted of murder, paving the way for the first state-endorsed executions since the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who opposes capital punishment, did not sign the document. However, he gave authority to his deputy to sign on his behalf. The three convicts will be hanged.

A copy of the execution order was attached to the statement, showing the signatures. Iraqi law requires the cabinet, the president, and two vice presidents to approve carrying out a death sentence.