Saddam-era finance minister dies

Azzawi was the fifth person on the US list of 55 most-wanted Iraqis to be arrested.

Updated: Jan 27, 2012, 23:35 PM IST

Baghdad: Saddam Hussein`s last finance
minister before the 2003 US-led invasion died of stomach
cancer while in custody on Friday, his lawyer and Iraq`s deputy
justice minister said.

Hekmat Ibrahim al-Azzawi, 75, who was also a deputy prime
minister during Saddam`s rule, was arrested by Iraqi police on
April 18, 2003 and handed over to coalition forces. He had
been facing a death sentence.

Azzawi was the fifth person on the US list of 55
most-wanted Iraqis to be arrested. He was listed as the eight
of diamonds on the American "deck of cards" which catalogued
Saddam`s top officials.

"Hekmat al-Azzawi died this morning," Deputy Justice
Minister Busho Ibrahim told AFP. "He was suffering from
cancer, and he died this morning while being transported to
the hospital" from jail.

"His relatives visited him this morning before he was
transferred to the hospital."

Azzawi`s lawyer Badie Aref confirmed that he had died.
The Saddam-era official was being held in a prison in the
north Baghdad neighbourhood of Kadhimiyah.

PTI