BAGHDAD, July 12: Iraq's interim President Sheikh Ghazi al Yawar confirmed on Monday the country would soon reinstate the death penalty, as the European Union voiced its strong opposition to the sentence.
Iraq's interim government would first announce a long-awaited amnesty to guerillas who had fought US-led forces since last year's invasion but were ready to lay down their arms, Ghazi Yawar said.
This move would be followed "by a law on the death penalty", the president told reporters in Baghdad. "We are looking at this carefully, the death sentence will only be applied the way it is applied in many of the world's most advanced societies," Mr Yawar told reporters after meeting Defence Minister Hazem Shaalan and National Guard Brigadier General Muther al Rashedi.
"This is nothing like the previous regime that had laid down 114 articles in the law carrying the death penalty." Many Iraqis have demanded the death penalty, which was abolished by the US-led authority before it returned power to an Iraqi administration a fortnight ago, against Saddam Hussein and other top figures.
At the same time, EU foreign ministers delivered a strong message to their Iraqi counterpart, Hoshyar Zebari, who is on a trip to Brussels. "Our policy will not change: we are opposed to capital punishment," Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot told a news conference alongside Mr Zebari. "We hope to continue dialogue on this issue, but I think that the message has been very clear as far as the European Union is concerned," Mr Bot said. -AFP