Saddam aide Tariq Aziz sentenced to death in Iraq
All three were sentenced for their roles in the persecutions and murders of members of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shiite-dominated Dawa party, including its founder, Mohammed Baqr al-Sadr. The Dawa party was the main opposition group during Saddam’s reign.
Aziz, 74, is reported to be seriously ill.
His attorney, Badee Izzat Aref, told the Associated Press that the verdict was “politically motivated.”
Aziz was also sentenced to 15 years in prison for “committing torture” and 10 years for “participating in torture.” The court ordered that all his known wealth be confiscated.
He pleaded not guilty in both cases.
In a phone interview from Dubai, Samer Muscati, a researcher with Human Rights Watch’s Middle East division, said the process under which Aziz was tried is “flawed because of serious administrative, procedural and substantive legal defects.”
“It is always a concern when someone is sentenced to death under the Iraqi penal system, considering the due process issues that exist,” Mr. Muscati said.
Some expressed surprise at the death sentence for Aziz.
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