updated 12/17/2003 4:54:56 PM ET 2003-12-17T21:54:56

Saddam Hussein should be prosecuted publicly in Iraq and the death penalty should be among the options for punishment, Democratic presidential candidate Wesley Clark said Wednesday.

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Clark, who was NATO’s supreme commander, testified earlier this week at The Hague in the war crimes trial of former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic. The retired general said in prepared remarks in Concord he would urge that an Iraq tribunal make execution a possibility for the deposed Iraqi dictator.

“I believe that the death penalty should be applied to war criminals, those who’ve used chemical weapons, and those responsible for genocide,” he said. “And as I believe the proceedings will show, Saddam is responsible for every single one of these heinous crimes and deserves the ultimate punishment.”

Saddam’s trial should be held “where the atrocities were committed — in Iraq,” he said.

Clark suggested that legal experts from the United States, the United Nations, the Arab League and the European Union develop procedures for a trial on charges of having committed crimes against the Iraqi people and international war crimes against Kuwait, Iran and the Kurds.

“Because of the importance of this trial to the Iraqi people, to those in the Middle East, and to the cause of international justice, it is vital that this process be done right,” he said. “Justice must be done, known to have been done, and known to have been done right. Doing it right will help us bring peace to the region, rebuild our relations with the world community and, ultimately, win the war on terrorism.”

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