IRAQ: GOVERNMENT URGES EXECUTION OF SADDAM-ERA OFFICIALS
March 17, 2009: Iraq's government called on the presidential council to ratify the death sentences against former officials from Saddam Hussein's regime so that the punishments can be carried out.
"The Cabinet is calling on the presidential council to respond to Iraqi people's will and ratify all death sentences against the criminals," said a statement issued by government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh's office.
The statement did not specify any convicts, but invoked the memory of the attack on the Kurdish city of Halabja by "Chemical Ali" Hassan al-Majid, saying the plea was meant to honor victims on the 21st anniversary of that attack. Saddam's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majeed, former Defence Minister Sultan Hashem and former army commander Hussein Rashid Muhammed have all been sentenced to death for their role in the Anfal military campaign against ethnic Kurds in 1988.
Majeed has two other death sentences, one for crushing a 1991 Shi'ite revolt and another for killing and displacing Shi'ite Muslims in 1999. (Sources: Associated Press, Reuters, 17/03/2009)