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'Chemical Ali' Sentenced to Death in Iraq

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    Chemical Ali Sentenced to Death in Iraq By SAMEER N. YACOUB AP http://news.aol.com/article/chemical-ali-sentenced-to-death-in- iraq/257986 BAGHDAD (Dec. 2) -
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 3, 2008
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      'Chemical Ali' Sentenced to Death in Iraq
      By SAMEER N. YACOUB
      AP
      http://news.aol.com/article/chemical-ali-sentenced-to-death-in-
      iraq/257986


      BAGHDAD (Dec. 2) - A special Iraqi court sentenced Saddam Hussein's
      notorious cousin, "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid, to death Tuesday
      after convicting him of crimes against humanity for his part in
      crushing the 1991 Shiite uprising in southern Iraq.
      Al-Majid already faces death by hanging after being convicted last
      year for his role in the killing of tens of thousands of Kurds in a
      crackdown in the late 1980s. But that execution has been delayed by
      legal wrangling.

      Ali Hassan al-Majid, Saddam Hussein s notorious cousin, known
      as "Chemical Ali," listens as a special Iraqi court sentenced him to
      death Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008, in Baghdad, Iraq, after convicting him
      of crimes against humanity while crushing the 1991 Shiite uprising in
      southern Iraq. Ali Hassan al-Majid already faces death by hanging
      after being convicted last year for his role in the killing of tens
      of thousands of Kurds in a crackdown in the late 1980s. But that
      execution has been delayed by legal wrangling. (AP Photo/APTN)

      Former Baath party official Abdul-Ghani Abdul-Ghafur also received a
      death sentence at the end of the trial, which began in August 2007.
      He shouted, "Down with the Persian-U.S. occupation!" as the sentence
      was read.

      "Shut up, you dirty Baathist," snapped chief judge Mohammed Oreibi al-
      Khalifa, referring to Saddam's mostly Sunni Baath party.

      The trial was one of five convened against former leaders of Saddam's
      regime, which was ousted in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Two are still
      ongoing.

      In the first trial, Saddam was convicted of crimes in the killing of
      more than 140 Shiites after an assassination attempt against him in
      Dujail.

      He was hanged in December 2006.

      After Saddam's defeat in the 1991 Gulf War, Shiites in southern Iraq
      and Kurds in the north rose up against his regime and seized control
      of 14 of the country's 18 provinces. U.S. troops created a safe haven
      for the Kurds in three northern provinces, preventing Saddam from
      attacking.

      But Saddam's troops marched into the predominantly Shiite south and
      crushed the uprising, killing tens of thousands of people.

      In this trial, four defendants received life sentences, six were
      sentenced to 15 years in prison and three were acquitted.

      Among those who received a 15-year sentence was former Defense
      Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai.

      He has also been sentenced to death for the Kurdish crackdown. But al-
      Tai's execution has been delayed because of an outcry from fellow
      Sunnis who believed the sentence was too harsh.

      After the end of the court session, al-Khalifa told reporters that he
      is convinced the verdicts were "fair and just."

      He added that some defendants were given 15 years instead of life
      sentences because they showed remorse and apologized for their role
      in crushing the uprising.

      "The existence of anti-government protests, even if a few protesters
      were carrying personal weapons, does not justify the use of tanks and
      helicopters to kill people at random," al-Khalifa said. "It took us
      75 sessions to reach the verdicts in this case while Saddam's
      Revolutionary Court needed two minutes to try and sentence a
      defendant to death."

      A lawmaker for the movement loyal to anti-U.S. Shiite cleric Muqtada
      al-Sadr hailed the verdicts.

      "This day is the day of examination and punishment," Fawzi Akram told
      AP Television News. "In the (Shiite) uprising, the Iraqi people made
      heavy sacrifices. Crimes unprecedented in modern Iraqi history were
      carried out, including killings and random raiding and mass killings,
      with no regard for law or justice."

      Al-Majid and former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz are also on trial for
      allegedly orchestrating the bloody repression of Shiite riots after
      the 1999 assassination of al-Sadr's father.

      Aziz also faces charges in another trial under way for officials
      accused in the 1992 execution of dozens of merchants accused of
      manipulating food supplies to drive up prices during hard economic
      times under U.N. sanctions.

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