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Death penalty for three Saddam-era spies

Last Updated: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 22:39

Baghdad: Iraq`s High Criminal Court on Thursday
sentenced to death three Saddam Hussein-era spies convicted of
assassinating the father of a sitting Iraqi lawmaker in Beirut
in April 1994.

"The court sentences to death Hadi Hassuni, Abdul Hassan
al-Majid and Farukh Hijazi, who were agents of the
intelligence services," tribunal spokesman Mohammed Abdul
Saheb told AFP.

Two other men, military intelligence chief Saber Duri and
Saddam`s secretary Abdul Hamid Mahmoud, were sentenced to life
imprisonment at the conclusion of the trial, which began in
October 2009.

Sabawi Ibrahim Hassan, the executed dictator`s
half-brother, and Saddam`s deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz
were acquitted in the trial.

The convictions came over the murder of Sheikh Taleb
al-Suhail al-Tamimi, head of the Banu Tamim tribe, who fled
Iraq for the Lebanese capital with his family after a Baath
Party coup in 1968.

He later attempted his own coup against Saddam, who rose
to power in 1979, but was gunned down outside his Beirut home
on April 14, 1994.

Lebanon severed its ties with Iraq in the aftermath of
the killing, but arrested five Iraqi diplomats and one
Lebanese accomplice over the assassination.

All but one were released without charge, with one
diplomat having died in prison in Lebanon.

The other four diplomats later returned to Iraq only to
flee after the 2003 US-led invasion that ousted Saddam.

Tamimi`s daughter, Safia al-Suhail, has been an Iraqi
lawmaker since 2005. She was elected to the Council of
Representatives in March 2010 polls as part of Prime Minister
Nuri al-Maliki`s slate, but is now an independent lawmaker.

"I am satisfied because I have expected this decision for
15 years, but at the same time I will continue my fight to
bring to justice those who managed to escape and take refuge
abroad," Suhail said.


First Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 - 22:39
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