Tariq Aziz, ‘Chemical Ali’ sentenced by Iraq court

Tariq Aziz, seen in 2002, was sentenced Wednesday to 15 years in jail for crimes against humanity.
The top court in Iraq sentenced two of Saddam Hussein’s half-brothers to death Wednesday for crimes against humanity.

The court also sentenced former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and a former senior official known as “Chemical Ali” — Ali Hassan al-Majeed — to 15 years in custody for crimes against humanity, an official with the Iraq High Tribunal told CNN. The men were sentenced for their roles in the 1992 execution of 42 merchants. In an unrelated trial last week, Al-Majeed was sentenced to death for his role in putting down an uprising in Baghdad a decade ago, Iraqi state TV reported. It was the third death sentence for al-Majeed, a cousin of Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq who was toppled from power by the U.S.-led coalition in 2003. Al-Majeed and other former members of Hussein’s regime remain in U.S. custody. His execution has been delayed for political rather than legal reasons.

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In last week’s trial, Aziz was acquitted. Aziz, one of the best-known faces of the Hussein regime, was Iraq’s deputy prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and also served as minister of foreign affairs for part of that time. He was captured by U.S. forces in April 2003, shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, a car bomb targeting troops in northern Iraq’s largest city killed four people and wounded 14 others on Wednesday, an Interior Ministry official told CNN. The car blew up near an Iraqi army patrol in the Shafa neighborhood of central Mosul. The vehicle was parked near the city’s medical college when it detonated. Of the dead, three were soldiers. Four other soldiers were among those wounded. Mosul, which has long been a volatile city, has had a strong militant presence. In another incident, in Baghdad, mortar fire in a residential area wounded four civilians.