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Saddam aide Tariq Aziz sentenced to death in Iraq
Two others face same fate for persecution, murder
Question of the Day
Two other defendants in the case, former Interior Minister Sadoun Shakir and Saddam’s private secretary, Abid Hamoud, also received death sentences.
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.”
However, State Department spokesman Michael Tran said all sentencing rulings, including Aziz’s death sentence, were “Iraqi decisions reached in accordance with Iraqi law.”
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.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
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