Iraqi court gives death penalty to Saddam’s half-brothers

BAGHDAD - Iraq’s Criminal Court Wednesday sentenced two half-brothers of former President Saddam Hussein to death for the execution of 42 merchants in 1992, and jailed close Saddam advisor Tariq Aziz for his role in the executions.

The court sentenced Aziz and also Ali Hassan al-Majid - or ‘Chemical Ali’ - to 15 years imprisonment each for their role in executing the 42 accused of breaking state price controls when Iraq was under UN sanctions imposed after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.

The two half-brothers sentenced to death were Watban and Sabaawi Ibrahim al-Hassam.

Aziz had already been acquitted earlier this month on charges related to a campaign against Shias.

Al-Majd had early this month received a third death sentence for his role in the 1999 crackdown on Shia Iraqis following the killing of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad al-Sadr.

In December, he had been sentenced to death for the brutal crushing of the Shia uprising that followed the expulsion of Iraqi forces from Kuwait in 1991.

In June he had received the death sentence for genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for his part in the 1988 Anfal campaign, in which 180,000 Kurdish civilians and guerrillas were killed.


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