IRAQ. 'CHEMICAL ALI' EXECUTION APPROVED
February 29, 2008: the execution of Saddam Hussein's cousin and henchman "Chemical Ali" has been approved by Iraq's presidency.
He was condemned to death for his role in the 1988 Anfal campaign against the Kurds in northern Iraq, in which an estimated 180,000 people died.
Chemical Ali, whose real name is Hassan al-Majid, was convicted on genocide charges and initially sentenced to death in June, 2007.
Under Iraqi law the execution warrant must be carried out within 30 days. It was signed two days ago.
He was convicted along with two other top officials - Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti, a senior military chief, and the former defence minister, Sultan Hashem. The trio were supposed to have been hanged by October, but legal wranglings have held up the process.
The presidency, which is made up of President Jalal Talabani and two vice-presidents, has not yet approved the hanging of al-Tikriti and Hashem, sources at the presidency said. "There are different points of view regarding the others that need to be resolved," Reuters news agency quoted a source as saying. (Sources: BBC, 29/02/2008)