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Middle east

Saddam henchmen get seven years for expelling Kurds

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-02

Former deputy president Tareq Aziz and "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid have each for seven years each for expelling Kurds from northern Iraq almost three decades ago.

AFP - Iraq's top court on Sunday jailed former deputy premier Tareq Aziz and Saddam Hussein's hatchet-man "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid for seven years each for expelling Kurds from northern Iraq almost three decades ago, state television said.
  
Aziz and Majid were among eight people on trial in Iraq's High Tribunal for chasing the Fayli -- Shiite Kurds -- out of the northern provinces of Kirkuk and Diyala in 1980.
  
"Ali Hassan al-Majid ... you are sentenced to seven years in prison," High Tribunal Judge Mahmoud Saleh Salman said in a verdict broadcast on Iraqi state television, before adding: "Tareq Aziz Issa ... you are sentenced to seven years in prison."
  
Several Kurdish MPs were in the court room when the verdicts were read out.
  
The expulsions took place in 1980, at the start of the Iran-Iraq war, when Saddam declared them to be Iranian nationals and ordered them evicted from their homes.
  
In March, Aziz and Majid were each sentenced to 15 years in jail for crimes against humanity over the 1992 murders of 42 Baghdad traders accused of racketeering while the country was under punishing UN sanctions imposed after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
  
Majid was sentenced to death in June 2007 for genocide after ordering the deaths of tens of thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal campaign, when Iraqi forces strafed villages with poison gas, the source of his grim nickname.
  
He was also given a second death penalty for war crimes and crimes against humanity over a bloody crackdown on Shiites during their ill-fated uprising after the 1991 Gulf War.
  
Aziz was named foreign minister in 1983 and then deputy prime minister in 1991. A fluent English speaker, he became one of the regime's best-known figures abroad as his master's voice.
  
He turned himself in to US forces in April 2003 after Saddam's regime was overthrown, but his son last year complained that he was being held in very bad conditions in custody and was suffering from a variety of ailments.
  
Saddam was hanged in December 2006 for the killing of 148 Shiite residents of Dujail following an abortive 1982 assassination attempt against the then president in the mainly Shiite town north of Baghdad.

Date created : 2009-08-02

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