Tariz Aziz, former Iraq Deputy PM sentenced to death by hanging

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Tariq Aziz
Tariq Aziz

Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former Deputy Prime Minister has been sentenced to death by hanging by Iraq court for war crimes.

Tariq was one of the most prominent figures of Saddam Hussein’s regime and played prominent roles in Sadam Husein’s cabinet as a major stake holder.

He was engaged at every level of negotiations prior to both the first and the second Gulf wars and was later granted temporary asylum in Britain.

Iraq’s High tribunal court handed  the sentence on Tuesday for the former foreign minister and one time Deputy PM Tariq Aziz for his role in the persecution of Shi’ite political parties.

Aziz had been charged with helping to kill, imprison or exile leaders of the Islamic Dawa party of current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

The death sentence is the first for Aziz, who is already serving a 15-year prison sentence for the execution of 42 merchants in 1992.

He was sentenced to another seven years for the forced displacement of Kurds in northern Iraq.

Aziz has said he is guilty of nothing more than being a loyalist of his country.  He says he, personally, committed no crime.

Aziz surrendered to U.S. troops in 2003.

Saddam Hussein, his former boss, was captured in Iraq in 2003 and executed by the interim Iraqi government in 2006.

In an interview with the British Guardian newspaper earlier this year, Aziz said the U.S. invasion of Iraq had “killed” his homeland.

The Iraqi court said two other defendants in the case were also sentenced to death.

Sadoun Shakir is Iraq’s former interior minister.  Abed Hamoud served as Saddam Hussein’s personal secretary.

Also Tuesday, a bomb targeting an Iraqi deputy planning minister wounded at least three people in Baghdad.

A separate bombing north of Baghdad killed six members of an Iraqi army patrol.