BAGDAD-REUTERS. A subdued Saddam Hussein was led shackled into a hall early on Saturday in Baghdad, a noose was placed around his neck and a guard pulled a lever that swiftly ended his life and a chapter of Iraq's history. Sami al-Askari, a prominent Shiite politician close to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, witnessed the event and told Reuters the process of Saddam's execution lasted about 25 minutes but once he was dropped through a trap door his death was very quick. «One of the guards pulled a lever and he dropped half a meter into a trap door. We heard his neck snap instantly and we even saw a small amount of blood around the rope,» Askari told Reuters.