Iraq's Aziz demands 'just' verdict in
February 12, 2009
AMMAN, — Iraq's former deputy premier Tareq
Aziz has demanded a just verdict in his trial with
seven others including "Chemical Ali" Ali Hasan al-Majid
over the execution of 42 Baghdad merchants accused
of racketeering, his lawyer said on Wednesday.
Aziz, 73, is being tried in Iraq for crimes against
humanity over the deaths of the merchants who were
accused of speculating on food prices when the
country was under punishing UN sanctions.
Prosecutors say the victims were arrested in
Baghdad's wholesale markets and executed after a
speedy trial in 1992. They also allege that the
former regime then seized their money and property.
"Aziz sent a letter to the Iraqi High Criminal Court
at the end of December demanding a just ruling,"
Amman-based Badea Aref told AFP.
"He told the court that he attended all sessions and
heard all witnesses,www.ekurd.net
but did not hear any
complaint or testimony against him."
The eight defendants could be sentenced to death if
"There are no indications that I was involved in the
case," Aref quoted Aziz as saying in his letter.
Aziz, a Christian who also served as foreign
minister under now executed dictator Saddam Hussein,www.ekurd.net
is also among 16 former
on trial in Iraq for a brutal
1980s campaign against Feyli Kurds
Tariq Aziz was the
international face of Saddam's bloody government for
Ali Hassan al-Majid, first cousin of executed
dictator Saddam Hussein and also known as 'Chemical
Ali', 'Butcher of Kurdistan' sentenced to
death over Kurdish genocide in June 2007
He turned himself in to US forces in April 2003
after Saddam's regime was overthrown, but his son
last year complained that he was being held in very
bad conditions and was suffering from a variety of
"Chemical Ali" Ali Hasan al-Majid was
sentenced to death in June 2007 for
genocide after ordering the deaths of tens of
thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign,
when Iraqi forces strafed villages with poison gas,
the source of his grim nickname.
Anfal was an anti-Kurdish campaign led by the former
regime between 1986 and 1989 and involved a series
of military campaigns against the Kurdish Peshmerga
fighters as well as the mostly Kurdish civilian
population of southern Kurdistan 'northern Iraq'.
in which chemical weapons were used, The Anfal
operation crackdown that killed nearly 200,000
Kurdish civilians and guerrillas.
In February 2008, Iraq's presidency
endorsed the execution
of Saddam Hussein's cousin "Chemical Ali,"
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