Iraq: Tariq Aziz sentenced to 15 years in prison

Published March 11th, 2009 - 01:42 GMT

Saddam Hussein's former foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, was convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to 15 years in prison Wednesday for the 1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of price gouging while Iraq was under U.N. sanctions. The conviction was the first against Aziz.


Meanwhile, Saddam's cousin "Chemical Ali" al-Majid also got a 15-year sentence for his role in the mass execution. Two of Saddam's half-brothers, former Interior Minister Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan and director of public security Sabawi Ibrahim, were sentenced to death.


The trial, which opened about a year ago but faced many delays, deals with the execution of the 42 merchants accused by Saddam's government of being behind a sharp hike in food prices when the country was experiencing hardships under strict U.N. sanctions. The merchants were rounded up over two days in July 1992 from Baghdad's wholesale markets and charged with manipulating food supplies to drive up prices. All 42 were executed hours later after a quick trial.



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