The Iraqi Supreme Court has sentenced former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz to death. For years, Aziz was the international face of Iraq, often seen on TV screens during the Iraq War of 2003.
Aziz was convicted in relation to “the persecution of religious parties” and “has been previously convicted for his role in the execution of dozens of merchants for profiteering,” says the BBC.
Iraqi state television is quoted as saying: “The supreme criminal court issued an execution order against Tariq Aziz for his role in eliminating religious parties.”
The BBC story continues: “Officials said two other defendants in the case were also sentenced to death – former interior minister Sadoun Shakir and former private secretary to Saddam Hussein, Abed Hamoud.
“Saddam Hussein, a Sunni Muslim, crushed all attempts to establish rival political groups in the 1980s and 1990s. He particularly targeted Shia Muslim parties, including the Dawa party of which current Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a member.”
It is not known yet when the execution will be carried out. Aziz is thought to be seriously ill, having suffered a stroke.