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Iraq says to execute Saddam half-brothers

(AFP) / 15 July 2011

BAGHDAD — Iraq will execute two of Saddam Hussein’s half-brothers within a month along with three other former regime officials, an official said on Friday, a day after the five were handed over by the US military.

The group, transferred to Iraqi custody on Thursday morning, were among 206 high-value detainees still being held by American forces ahead of a US military pullout due by the end of the year.

“We received the final 206 Iraqi prisoners being held by US forces, including five senior officials from the former regime,” said justice ministry spokesman Haidar Al Saadi. “They (the five officials) will be executed within one month.

“They include Watban Ibrahim Hassan and Sabawi Ibrahim Al Tikriti,” two half-brothers of the late dictator.

Also among the group handed over and slated to be executed are former defence minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed and ex-generals Hussein Rashid Al Tikriti and Aziz Saleh Numan.

The five have been sentenced to death in different trials.

“Justice Minister Hassan Al Shammari visited with the presidency council earlier this week and they agreed not to delay the ratification of their condemnation to death,” he said.

“We believe that the council will sign the documents within days and they will be executed within one month.”

Under Iraqi law, all death sentences must be formally approved by Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, or by either of his two vice presidents.

The 206 prisoners transferred were being held by US forces at a detention facility on Baghdad’s outskirts, formerly known as Camp Cropper. Though the site was handed over to Iraq on July 15, 2010, American soldiers were charged with holding the group of high-value detainees.

Saadi said that of the larger group, the paperwork for 10 detainees had not yet been completed.

Saddam, who was deposed in a 2003 US-led invasion, himself spent three years in Camp Cropper until his execution on December 2006.

Watban Ibrahim Hassan, a former interior minister, was sentenced to death in March 2009 for his involvement in the 1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of food-price speculation.

He is the only senior Saddam-era official to have publicly apologised for wrongs committed by the dictator’s Baath Party.

Sabawi Ibrahim Al Tikriti, a former chief of Saddam’s intelligence service, was condemned to death in the same trial.

 
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