The European Union urged Iraq on Sunday not to carry out the death sentence passed on Iraq's former leader Saddam Hussein after his conviction for crimes against humanity.
"The EU opposes capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances, and it should not be carried out in this case either," Finland, current holder of the rotating EU presidency, said in a statement.
The statement offered no direct comment on the outcome of the trial but did say, however, that the EU had repeatedly condemned "the systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law committed by the regime of Saddam Hussein".
The US-backed Iraqi High Tribunal judged Saddam guilty of crimes against humanity for his role in the killing of 148 Shi'ite villagers after a failed assassination bid in 1982.
US White House spokesman Tony Snow said the judgement was a "good day for the Iraqi people", while British interior minister John Reid said the ruling should be respected.
Around the region, the outcome satisfied countries that Saddam invaded, but caused resentment amongst some Arabs who see him as the victim of a US-inspired show trial.
Human rights groups and legal experts have called the year-long trial, during which three defence lawyers were killed, deeply flawed.