Human Rights Watch condemned the verdict as
saying the court had been guilty of so many
that a fair trial had been impossible.
It said the court lacked the expertise
for such a complex trial,
had failed to give the defence advance
of key documents,
while statements by government officials
had undermined its independence
and perceived impartiality.
UN human rights experts also identified
"serious procedural shortcomings"
and called on Iraq
not to carry out the death sentences.
They also said Saddam was not given enough
to prepare his defence
and had restricted access to his lawyers.