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Tariq Aziz sentenced to death

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An Iraq court handed a death sentence to Aziz Tariq for his role in eliminating Islamic Parties(AFP)

Iraq’s high tribunal has passed a death sentence on Tariq Aziz, one of deposed leader Saddam Hussein’s most prominent deputies. The death sentence, announced on Tuesday, was the first to be handed to Aziz, a former foreign minister and deputy prime minister, who was often seen as the face of Saddam’s government in foreign capitals and at the UN. Aziz, 74, was at the centre of explaining Iraq’s policy in the months leading up to the first Gulf War after Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait, and in the years after as Iraq faced sanctions and arms inspections. In 2003, he met with Pope John-Paul II in an unsuccessful effort to avert the threat of military action by the US and its allies. The Iraqi high tribunal was set up in 2003 to try former members of Saddam’s rule. Aziz was brought to trial on April 29, 2008 and accused of signing an order for the execution of 42 merchants who allegedly manipulated food prices in July 1992 at the height of the country’s economic downturn under UN sanctions. He has denied the charges. Prosecutors had also hoped that Aziz, who is a Christian, would testify against Saddam, but the former foreign minister refused to condemn his one-time boss and continued to refer to him as “the president”. Aziz’s family say his health has deteriorated considerably since he suffered a stroke prior to the US invasion. Senior members of Iraq’s Assyrian Church have called on US forces to release him. His lawyer confirmed that he was in poor health and in deep shock and astonishment. “The sentence was a big blow to him and he is still under the effect of the shock, a matter that could end his life before he is executed.” On March 11, 2009 an Iraqi court found him guilty of the July 1992 executions and handed him a 15-year sentence Source: Al Jazeera and agencies

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Written by africawitness

October 26, 2010 at 4:02 pm

Posted in Xenophobia

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