Sunday, December 31, 2006

SADDAM: Last words of tyrant - SPECIAL REPORT

By Robert Kellaway

IT WAS the Mother of all Executions...for the Mother of all Tyrants.

Evil Saddam Hussein was justly consigned to the pit of hell — dangling from his own noose.

The butchering Iraqi despot was led mumbling and stumbling towards his doom in the same execution chamber where he eliminated THOUSANDS of political enemies.

REPORT: 300,000 innocents can now rest in peace

ANALYSIS: Col Tim Collins - This death will heal Iraq

REPORT: President Bush - Good Riddance

COMMENT: Fraser Nelson - Our Columnist looks to the future

Saddam, who ruled his nation through utter terror for 24 years, shuffled towards the hangman's rope muttering to himself: "Do not be afraid, do not be afraid."

Filmed scenes of the dictator's last moments were flashed around the world hours after the execution but stopped short of the actual drop to his death.

But late on Saturday chilling fresh footage — believed to have been filmed on a mobile phone — emerged on the internet showing Saddam plunging through the trapdoor and then swinging at the end of the rope.

The video, sent to the News of the World, is taken from the foot of a wrought iron staircase leading to the crudely-built scaffold.


Saddam is seen being led on to the death platform by hooded executioners. The waiting noose hangs from a pulley bolted to the gallows' rough concrete ceiling.

The dark room is lit by the flare of flashbulbs as onlookers photograph the gruesome spectacle.

There is a rising chant from the crowd as the grim scene unfolds, which we have had translated:

ONLOOKERS: "May God bless Prophet Mohammed and his family, and curse his enemy."

The chant changes...

ONLOOKERS: "Muktada! Muktada! Muktada!"

This refers to Muktada al-Sadr, a Shia cleric leader and a direct opponent of Saddam. It would have been a galling taunt to the dictator.

ANOTHER VOICE: "Go to hell!"

ONLOOKERS (still chanting): "Long live Mohammed Bakir al-Hakeem."

This is another Shia leader who was killed in a car bomb attack outside a mosque in Najaf in 2003.

SADDAM (With the rope around his neck, he twice repeats this phrase): "I too bear witness that there is no God but Allah, and I too bear witness that Mohammed is his prophet."

By this time the dictator has been kept standing on the platform with the noose tight round his neck for 45 seconds before suddenly, mid-prayer, the trapdoor springs open and he plunges to his death.

ONLOOKERS (chanting): "May God bless prophet Mohammed and his family, and curse his enemy.

Again, the chant changes...

ONLOOKERS: "The tyrant is dead! May God curse him!"

Then there is a voice in the background from someone who appears to be one of those in charge.

OFFICER: "Leave him for three minutes. Everybody move to the back."

As the world shuddered with relief at his historic execution, a witness revealed: "We heard his neck snap instantly and we even saw blood on the rope."

Sami al-Askari, a prominent politician close to the Iraqi Prime Minister, added: "In fact, they left him hanging for 10 minutes before a doctor confirmed his death and they untied him and placed him in a white body bag."

Before the corpse was taken away, officials took DNA samples to convince sceptics that they'd rid the world of the right man. Another witness—who lost 26 family members to Saddam's regime—said: "Now he is in the garbage of history."

Jawad Abdul-Aziz, there as a representative of all the tyrant's victims, added: "When I saw the body in the coffin, I cried. I remembered my three brothers and my father who he had killed. I approached the body and told him, ‘This is the well-deserved punishment of every tyrant'".

Iraqi national security adviser Mouwafak al-Rubaie told in astonishing detail how he stared into Saddam's eyes as the fallen dictator muttered reassurance to himself.

Mr al-Rubaie, one of a handful of witnesses, said: "He was very, very broken. He looked really, really weak. He looked at the gallows not believing what was going to happen. He kept on staring at me. I couldn't see any remorse in his look.

"They tied his hands at the back and it was a little bit tight so I instructed the guard to loosen it up. He was offered a hood but he said, ‘There is no need for that.'

Then the rope went around his neck, tightened, and the executioner started to read rituals from Koran.

"He went down in no time. It was so, so quick and totally painless. It was over in a second.

"We took the body and it was respected. We put him in plain white clothes and carried him to the ambulance and then to the helicopter."

Appeal court judge Munir Haddad, who also watched, said: "I witnessed the impact of the rope around his neck and it was a horrible sight."

He revealed that one of the guards had asked close to the end: "Why did you destroy Iraq?" But unrepentant Saddam replied: "I destroyed the invaders. I destroyed the enemies of Iraq and turned Iraq from poverty."

The execution took place at 3am British time Saturday — around dawn in Iraq — just 30 minutes after Saddam, 69, was released by US Forces into the hands of the Iraqis at the former military prison in Kadhamiya on the outskirts of Baghdad.

Earlier he had been woken in his permanently-lit whitewashed cell in the US Army's Camp Cropper in the city, where he had been held as HVD1 (High Value Detainee One) since he was sentenced to death earlier this year for the massacre of 148 Shia Muslims in 1982.

He was offered a traditional Arab breakfast of yoghurt, toast and tea or his favourite cereal Raisin Bran before being handcuffed and flown out by helicopter.

On arrival at the execution chamber he launched into an anti-West rant. Security adviser Mr al-Rubaie said: "He started his rhetoric of long live Islam, down with Persia, down with the West, down with this, down with that.

"He was shouting his head off. He was broken but he was trying to put up his old rhetoric."

Officials explained to him everything he had been convicted of. Then Saddam—wearing a black woollen overcoat, black trousers and white shirt all stitched by his personal Turkish tailor—was bundled upstairs to the gallows by SIX burly guards.

A black cloth was placed around his neck to stop the rope cutting his flesh. Saddam frowned as two hangmen helped him shuffle forward and positioned him in the centre of the right-hand trapdoor.

They placed the enormous noose over his head and around his neck. The eight-coil, five-inch wide hangman's knot was tied from hemp rope one and a quarter inches thick.


The hangman to Saddam's left held it in place with his right hand and twice pulled hard to tighten the noose. Another pulled the gallows lever sending him through the trapdoor. His neck broke instantly.

Around 15 official witnesses saw his body fall, blood clearly visible on his neck where the rope had sliced through, despite the black cloth.

The Iraqi government decided to act before dawn because of Eid, one of Islam's holiest days. It was important to finish the execution before the day began at sunrise.

Saddam's half-brother Barzan al-Tikriti and ex-judge Awad al-Bander also face hanging but their executions were delayed until after the week-long religious celebrations.

Ironically, the prison at Kadhamiya where the execution took place—now dubbed Camp Justice by the Americans—was the former hellhole HQ of Saddam's military intelligence.

He ordered thousands of his enemies to be tortured there and executed on the same gallows.

In effect, the vile tyrant, who threated the West with "the Mother of all Battles" in the first Gulf War, was hanged by his own rope that he used to slaughter so many.

Saddam's lawyers issued a statement of empty bravado. It said: "Saddam Hussein fell a martyr after he tried his judges before they convicted him. The martyr remained fearless, honest and clear-minded."

But the country he ruled with murderous brutality was last night finally able to plan for a future free of fear.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Secrets of 'Suffolk Strangler'

By Georgina Dickinson

(Additional reporting: CHRIS TATE)

THE HEARTBROKEN elderly mum of Steve Wright believes her confused son is LAPPING UP the notoriety of being a suspected serial killer.

Collapsing in tears, Patricia Wright, 67, revealed: "Steve is normally a bit withdrawn. I think now he is enjoying all the attention without realising the seriousness of it all.

"All of a sudden he is like a star. Everybody is talking about him and he's on the news. He doesn't understand how terrible this is."

But Patricia, who fled a violent marriage and moved to the United States when Wright was still a teenager, is convinced her son is innocent of the murders of five Ipswich prostitutes.

She said: "This is a serial killer, a monster. I don't think Steve is smart enough to be a serial killer and cover his tracks."

Patricia sobbed as she spoke exclusively to the News of the World at her home on America's East Coast hours after forklift driver Wright, 48, appeared in court charged with the Suffolk Strangler murders. She recalled how he:

- SUFFERED a troubled childhood at the hands of his disciplinarian father Conrad, an RAF corporal.

- HELD his breath until he passed out if he feared a smack from his strict dad.

- ENJOYED having a string of girlfriends that he aways treated like princesses.

- SAVED stray animals as a child and always looked after them.

- TURNED against her under his father's influence after the divorce.

- FELL out with her in a drunken, four-letter rage the last time they met.

Shattered Patricia told how she has been weeping ever since learning of her son's arrest.

She said: "My daughter Jeanette called and told me that they were questioning Steve for the five prostitutes that had been murdered. I said, ‘Oh my God'.

"Then I turned on the TV and there it was. I've been watching the news ever since. I have been crying for about three days. It's so unbelievable. I was worse when they actually charged him...then the floodgates really opened.

"Steve couldn't do anything like that. I don't believe he did it, but if he did, he needs help. It's not something a sane person does and he seemed pretty sane to me."

Retired veterinary nurse Patricia, who now lives with second husband Ron, added: "My heart and my prayers go out to the families of these young girls who did not deserve to die the way they did."

Patricia married Wright's father Conrad, an RAF corporal, soon after she got pregnant aged 16 in 1956. They had children David, now 49, Steve, 48, Tina, 47, and Jeanette, 45.

She says her second son was the apple of her eye. But he had a rough upbringing at the hands of his dad as they lived on RAF bases across the world before finally settling in Suffolk.

Patricia said: "Steve was shy — especially in a crowd — but he was such a love when he was a kid.

"He loved animals. One time in Singapore he and his brother brought home a snake. Then it was a turtle and then a puppy from the beach.

"I never saw any violence there. He definitely didn't have it in him when he was a little boy."

But her marriage to Conrad turned into a fiery one. She recalled: "As we went to Malta and then to Singapore the marriage became increasingly violent.

"Steve was withdrawn. He was afraid of his strict dad if I wasn't there. He would actually hold his breath and pass out if he thought his dad was going to smack him."

The family returned from the Far East and Patricia made the decision to get out. She intended to take the children too.

But when they arrived in Ipswich she says her husband grabbed their sons and told her: "You're not getting the boys."

Patricia was forced to abandon her children and move into a bedsit.

She said: "I went to the welfare people and tried to get my children back. But they wouldn't let me have them because I was living in one room.

"Conrad poisoned the children against me. He said I left them because I didn't care.

"I wrote a letter to him asking to be allowed to visit them but he wouldn't let me."

Patricia moved to the USA and didn't see any of her children again for more than 15 years.

But she was reunited with twice-married Wright when she visited him during Christmas 1992 at the pub he was running.

She recalled: "At first Steve was great. We talked a lot and we were fine. He lived above the pub on the outskirts of London and we stayed with him. He had a baby then.

"He had the prettiest hair still and he had a lovely smile. Then he changed completely before I went to the airport.

"When I got home he left this terrible message on my phone. He was drunk and I could hardly understand very much. It was F this and F that.

"If he could say those terrible things he obviously didn't want anything to do with me."

In another insight into her son's life, Patricia added: "Steve's had a rotten life but he doesn't go around killing people. I don't believe he would do that. He was never cruel.

"He didn't have any problems getting girlfriends. He always seemed very nice to them. But he never seemed able to stay with one woman."

Former QE2 steward Wright, who was arrested on Tuesday, is being held at London's Belmarsh prison in the same suite which once housed Soham murderer Ian Huntley.

He is accused of killing prostitutes Gemma Adams, 25, Tania Nicol, 19, Anneli Alderton, 24, Annette Nicholls, 29, and Paula Clennell, 24. whose naked bodies were found dumped on the outskirts of Ipswich.

Patricia is hoping to get a message to him in his cell. She sobbed: "I want to tell him I am here if he needs me.

"I'd tell him I don't believe he did what they are saying. I'm praying for him."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

EXCLUSIVE: Strangler victim's client was top cop

MURDERED Paula Clennell is pointing the finger at a senior policeman punter from beyond the grave, the News of the World can reveal.

The officer — who works for a neighbouring constabulary — was a regular client to her AND one of the Suffolk Strangler's other victims.

Paula 24, volunteered the information to detectives shortly before her death when she was quizzed over two fellow hookers.

At the time Gemma Adams was dead and Tania Nichol was missing.

An insider told us: "The detectives asked Paula to list her clients. She told them that one of her regulars was a senior police officer with another force who she shared with one of the other girls.

"She revealed that she visited him at a house in Suffolk.

"Irrespective of what this man does for a living, this is now an active line of inquiry.

"He won't be treated any differently because of who he is. This is a murder investigation."

Paula was known to regularly pair up with other girls to entertain clients. Last night, Suffolk police refused to deny that they were actively investigating the officer.

A spokesman said: "We are interested in speaking to anyone who may have had contact with any of the victims."

And Det Chief Supt Stewart Gull, who is heading the investigation into the murder of the five Ipswich prostutes, told us: "Regardless of whether he's a police officer, I am not going to be drawn on a particular individual.

"We are looking at a number of interesting individuals and that's my line."

A spokesman for the force where the client is allegedly based said: "If there is a police officer who has had any contact with any of the victims it is their professional responsibilty to come forward and we would ask that they do so at their earliest opportunity."

Paula was filmed by a TV company on December 5 as she continued to walk the streets in the red light district of Ipswich even though the body of Gemma had already been found and Tania was missing. She told ITV Anglia: "I need the money. But I am a bit wary about getting into cars."

Our source said: "Paula clearly went with the killer knowing a murderer was on the loose so it is likely she was familiar with the punter."

It is possible that the girls — all addicts — were given drugs to render them powerless. Toxicology tests are being carried out on all five bodies.

Meanwhile detectives have released poignant CCTV footage of the last time vice girl Anneli Alderton, 24, was seen alive.

The grainy 1 min 59 seconds video was taken on a train at approximately 6pm between Harwich and Colchester on December 3 and there were no sightings of her after that.

Seven days later her body was found in woods at Nacton near Ipswich — the third to be discovered. She was three months pregnant. Det Ch Supt Gull said: "We need to piece together Anneli's movements after this. At what stage did Anneli get off the train? And where did she go after that? If anyone saw Anneli after Sunday December 3 we want to hear from them."

Almost childlike, Anneli looks excited as her train nears a station. Seemingly alone she uses the dark windows as mirrors and preens and poses as if getting ready for a night out.

She is dressed in blue jeans, a black zipped anorak with fur-lined hood and grey top. She carries a nylon tie-up bag. Unaware of the camera, she delves into the bag and pulls out a tatty Aldi carrier, from which she grabs a can of hairspray and brush.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

DIANA EXCLUSIVE: Final verdict of crash probe


Exclusive by Ryan Sabey

THE MAJOR probe into the death of Princess Diana will DESTROY once and for all the myths and conspiracy theories about the crash, the News of the World can reveal.

A £2million, two-year inquiry led by former Met Police Commissioner Lord Stevens, below, will deliver its findings on Thursday.

We can exclusively divulge that the bombshell dossier will conclude that new blood tests show that the Princess was NOT PREGNANT.

She was NOT ENGAGED to boyfriend Dodi Fayed. There was NO ASSASSINATION plot and NO COVER-UP afterwards.

The car was NOT SABOTAGED —it was in perfect working order.

And a mystery white Fiat didn't cause the crash . . . driver Henri Paul was three times over the drink limit and going TOO FAST.

Codenamed Operation Paget, the crack investigation team interviewed 400 witnesses and friends, examined 20,000 official documents, and conducted new forensic tests.

The report contradicts many claims made by Harrods boss Mohamed Al Fayed after Diana and his son Dodi were killed when their chauffeur-driven Mercedes crashed in the Pont l'Alma tunnel, Paris, in August 1997.

It will be examined by Royal coroner Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss before she starts formal inquests in the New Year.

One theory, that the Di and Dodi were engaged, was proven to be untrue after investigators examined footage of interviews given by friends and family of Dodi to US TV journalist Daphne Barak.


THE THEORY: Al Fayed claims a nurse passed on Diana's so-called "last words" to him at the Paris hospital. She allegedly said: "I would like all my possessions in Dodi's apartment to be given to my sister Sarah. And please tell her to take care of my boys."

THE FACTS: Investigators have probed staff lists and duty rosters but the mystery nurse has never been found. During extensive interviews with the News of the World last year, Al Fayed's bodyguard Kez Wingfield rubbished his story. Our findings were crucial to the inquiry.

Kez accompanied Al Fayed to La Petie-Salpetriere Hospital in the early hours of that Sunday morning. He said: "The boss NEVER set foot inside the hospital and DIDN'T talk to any nurses.

And a hospital spokesman said: "The Princess was unconscious on arrival and then she had a heart attack. She was not capable of speech in her last hours."

THE VERDICT: NO last words.


THE THEORY: Al Fayed claimed Di and Dodi had told him she was four or five weeks pregnant just before the crash.

THE FACTS: Embalming fluid used on Diana's body could have given a false positive in any pregnancy test. But fresh forensic tests carried out on tiny droplets of her blood taken from the car back seat were found NOT to have the hormone level of a pregnant woman.

New techniques used by the enquiry team on tissue and blood samples confirmed this. And close friend Rosa Monckton confirmed that Di's period had started around 10 days before the crash, making it impossible for her to be expecting.

THE VERDICT: She was NOT pregnant.


THE THEORY: Diana was killed by MI6 because Prince Phillip didn't want the mother of our future king marrying a Muslim.

THE FACTS: Two secret servicemen supposed to have been involved were interviewed by the inquiry. They were never in Paris. MI5 and MI6 opened up their files and no plot was found.

Any killers would have had to know Diana's plans in detail. But the car and driver were only called up at the last minute to trick paparazzi. The route was random and the car was not sabotaged.

THE VERDICT: There was NO plot.


THE THEORY: Mysterious white Fiat Uno made her car crash.

THE FACTS: French police never traced the car despite searching a database of 112,000 Fiats. It was alleged Di's Mercedes hit it before it crashed into the wall of the Alma tunnel. White paint was found on the wreckage but its origin has never been traced.

A French cameraman who drove a white Fiat Uno denied being in the tunnel that night. His body was found in a burnt-out car in 2000 amid speculation he was murdered. But investigators concluded the crash simply happened because the Merc was going too fast.

THE VERDICT: Fiat didn't cause smash.


THE THEORY: Chauffeur Henri Paul was a French spy in on the assassination plot. Blood samples were tampered with to brand him a drunk driver as part of a cover-up.

THE FACTS: Paul WAS a sleeper for French Intelligence but that had nothing to do with it. The inquiry took new samples for testing and checked them with the DNA of his parents. They concluded the original tests were not faked. Paul was "as drunk as a pig" on a combination of booze and tranqillisers.

THE VERDICT: Driver WAS drunk.


THE THEORY: Al Fayed claims Dodi bought Di a ring and they were engaged.

THE FACTS: Investigators pieced together a minute-by-minute account of Diana and Dodi's final hours. They have spoken to close friends of the couple and studied hours of footage of interviews by US TV journalist Daphne Barak.

She interviewed several pals of the playboy who said he'd he made no mention of an engagement. A step-uncle who spoke to him on the fateful night revealed he told him he was only THINKING of proposing.

In one of her last conversations with best friend Rosa Monckton, Diana dismissed talk of an engagement. And a Monte Carlo jeweller who claimed they had chosen a £230,000 emerald ring has since changed his recollection of events.

THE VERDICT: She was NOT engaged.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


By Nadia Cohen

I'M A Celebrity jungle babe Myleene Klass has confessed how she was bursting to bed her hunky lover the moment she got out.

She peeled off her grimy shorts and T-shirt to remind breathless fiancé Graham Quinn exactly what he's been missing for the past three weeks.

Talking for the first time of their amazing sex life, TV's loved-up Queen of the Jungle exclusively told the News of the World: "Graham's an incredibly gorgeous man—of course I couldn't wait to get back in his arms.

"It was the longest we've ever been apart, and the longest we've ever gone without making love. After all the bruises and cockroaches it was wonderful to feel his arms around me again."

Relaxing in their plush five-star hotel suite, the former Hear'Say beauty giggled as she recalled romantic highlights of their six hot years together: "We're pretty adventurous sometimes—we've done it on a piano and I know all the practice rooms at my old music school intimately.

"I can safely say they were not only used for practising classical music!

"Graham loves my body and he adores it when I dress up for him in stockings, suspenders and stilettos.

"I really enjoy that but I'd only do it for him. If everyone saw it, it wouldn't be ours."

Myleene—who was just pipped for first place in the show by new King of the Jungle, Busted star Matt Willis—revealed how she secretly pined for Graham as she battled for votes in the steamy rainforest.

She said: "I missed having my best friend in there to cuddle up to at night, to lay my head on his chest and have that pillow talk."


Myleene Klass opened her heart for the first time about the shameful past of her fiancĂ© Graham Quinn—a convicted heroin dealer.

I'm A Celebrity runner-up Myleene, 28, insisted Quinn—who she lovingly calls ‘Gray'—is a reformed character and she is determined to stick by him.

But she confessed: "I knew all about what he'd done right from the start, but I never judged him.

"I'd have to be perfect myself, like Mother Teresa, to pass judgment on somebody like that."


Pusher Graham was arrested in 1996 with more than £1,000 of heroin but jumped bail and spent six years on the run, changing his name from Smith to avoid capture.

He was on the Interpol wanted list when he met Myleene six years ago as a bodyguard for her band Hear'Say.

He immediately confessed his past to her, but it wasn't until his picture was recognised in a news-paper that Myleene encouraged him to give himself up and face the music.

He was expecting a harsh punishment, but escaped with a £1,500 fine and an 18-month suspended prison sentence after pledging he had turned his back on crime.

Myleene admitted: "Gray's not proud of what he did. But now he's a changed man and he has done good work with a lot of kids. I've seen him put his hand in his pocket and take needy children to hostels.

"He genuinely had a problem back then, he took drugs, but he's paid the price.

"I never felt trapped or duped because he'd been honest from the start.

"I stood by him and he's stood by me in some very dark times. People say ‘In sickness and in health' and those words, they mean something to me.

"Because of what Gray's been through he's wise and not so quick to judge, and I like that. When I went into the jungle he said ‘Make sure you'rebloody perfect before you criticise.'

"And that's why I got along with everyone. Gray would never do what he did again, he wouldn't dare. I know he wouldn't."

Myleene revealed she now plans to marry in the New Year and start a family.

And she said the close bond she feels with Graham even worked in the jungle. "There were times during my 19 days in there that I honestly felt like he was in there with me," she said.

That feeling was especially strong when Myleene found herself alone—like she was in those sensational shower scenes in a skimpy bikini that drove millions of TV fans wild!

Glimpses of water splashing over those killer curves sent temperatures soaring in wintry Britain. But modest Myleene had no idea she was putting on such a show. "I find it hilarious," she laughed. "I can't imagine people found that interesting. I'd no idea everyone was going on about the white bikini. All I could think about under the shower were the bruises and cockroaches all over me, and how cold it was!"

Myleene, dubbed I'm A Celebrity Queen of the Jungle after becoming the final girl left in there, developed a special routine to spare her blushes from the hidden cameras.

"I did this whole song and dance changing into my bikini in the dunny, then coming out and putting my shorts and hat on," she said.

"I'd wear it all down to the waterfall then leave my clothes by the side so that as soon as I was out I could throw them back on.


"Just like every woman I don't like my own figure. If it's a photo you can seem perfect, but in real life I know what's going on out there.

"I only went for showers in the afternoon when nobody was around.

"But you don't realise there are cameras and cameramen everywhere until you hear a tree cough!

"The camera guys gave me a round of applause when I came out. I said, ‘Is that for the singing?' But they just winked and said, ‘You'll see!' I had no idea!

"I'm like every other girl. I have conversations about stretch marks and cellulite. I hate my bum and thighs, who doesn't?

"All girls have those wobbly bits. And I genuinely love my food. I lost a stone in the jungle but I've had two burgers already so I'm going to stick that straight back on and love every minute of it.

"My fella Gray will say I look amazing but he's my fella. He has to say that. Or he won't get fed!"