An Iraqi court has sentenced fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi and his aide to death penalties  over their involvement in terrorist activities and running a death squad.
The presiding judge on Sunday tried Hashemi in absentia and sentenced him to death by hanging. His secretary and son-in-law, Ahmed Qahtan, was also tried in absentia and sentenced to death, AFP reported. The court case, which began in May, covered the first of around 150 charges leveled against Hashemi and his aides for committing acts of terror in the country. He fled to Iraq’s Kurdistan region in December last year as US troops were pulling out of Iraq.  Baghdad persistently demanded that the autonomous Kurdish region hand over Hashemi to face justice, but the region declined to oblige. Hashemi travelled on to Qatar, where he held talks with King Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani.
"The fleeing Iraqi vice president then visited Saudi Arabia and has been in Turkey since April."
Hashemi is accused of involvement in bomb attacks against government and security officials over the past years, including a November 2011 car bombing in the capital Baghdad that apparently targeted the Iraqi prime minister. On December 19, 2011, an investigative committee within the Iraqi Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for Hashemi after three of his bodyguards confessed to taking orders from him to carry out the terrorist attacks.
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