Iraqi court rejects Int'l calls to spare
October 29, 2010
The Supreme Criminal Court announced on Thursday its
refusal to drop the death sentence imposed on the
74-year-old former deputy PM Tariq Aziz despite
The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Vatican are
among those who have called on the Iraqi court to
reverse the death sentence on humanitarian grounds.
Supreme Criminal Court spokesman, Judge Mohammed
Abdul-Sahib told AKnews that the verdict was
delivered based on condemning evidence and hard
facts which left the court with no doubts about the
guilt of Aziz.
The judge added that the case was now out of the
"The court has nothing to do with the case after
issuing its judicial decisions,” he said, "Issued
judicial rulings are subject to appeal before the
Appeals Chamber in accordance with the law.”
Abdul-Sahib went on to say that the Supreme Criminal
Court was carefully guarded from external
interference in its jurisdiction.
Tariq Aziz was the international face of Saddam's
bloody government for years. Life photo
"Any pressure from
inside or outside will not affect the provisions or
stop them because the Iraqi judiciary is an
The director of the Human Rights and Democracy
Commission, Hassan Shaban, told AKnews that the
death penalty was “severe and contrary to the
principles of human rights”.
In the case of Tariq Aziz, a 74-year-old Christian,
who is said to be in poor health following a recent
stroke, Shaban called for the age of the defendant
to be taken into account and questioned the legality
of the Court’s sentence.
“The Iraqi Penal Code specifies that anyone who
exceeds 70 years old is exempt from the death
penalty,” he said, “the Federal Court Act includes
some serious errors”.
Tariq Aziz arrived in court on Tuesday from his
prison cell outside Baghdad where he is currently
serving a 15-year sentence for his involvement in
the execution of 42 Baghdad merchants in 1992,www.ekurd.netand
a seven-year sentence for the displacement of Feyili
Kurds from Kirkuk in the 1980s.
The former deputy PM surrendered to U.S. forces
after the fall of Baghdad in April 2003.
Aziz's son, Ziad Aziz, told BBC reporters after the
sentence was read that the verdict was not
surprising but insisted that his father was
"They want to kill everybody who belonged to the
ex-government," he said.
"He was a politician, he dealt with the media. He
didn't deal with security.
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