Chemical Ali will not go to the gallows alone: Iraq

March 19th, 2008 - 7:18 pm ICT by admin  

Baghdad, March 19 (DPA) The Iraqi government wants to execute three aides of former president Saddam Hussein together - including his cousin “Chemical Ali” - who were sentenced to death for genocide, Iraqi media reported Wednesday. Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali, along with former defence minister Sultan Hashim and a former army chief of operations, Hussein al-Tikriti, were all sentenced to death in June for a genocide campaign against the Kurds in the 1980s.

Al-Majid earned the name Chemical Ali for gassing the Kurds in the brutal crackdown.

The executions have been delayed, with Iraq’s three-member Presidential Council endorsing only the execution of al-Majid.

“The Iraqi cabinet calls for the execution of the three together in accordance with the court ruling issued against them,” a cabinet statement carried by al-Sabah newspaper said.

The row over the execution pits Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki against the Presidential Council, which has vetoed the executions of Hashim and al-Tikriti.

Hashim and al-Tikriti are regarded by many Sunni Arabs as career soldiers who were just following orders.

Sunni Vice-President Tarqi al-Hashimi has launched a campaign to spare Hashim, who along with the two other Saddam-era officials are in US custody.

The US military is refusing to hand the three over to the Iraqi authorities unless the legal wrangling is resolved.

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