IRAQ: 40 SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER 2014 TIKRIT MASSACRE
February 18, 2016: An Iraqi court sentenced 40 men to hang over the June 2014 massacre by Sunni jihadists and allied militants of hundreds of military recruits in Tikrit, the judiciary said.
The central criminal court in Baghdad found 40 of 47 defendants guilty of involvement in the "Speicher" massacre, named after the base near where the victims were captured before being executed.
"The court ordered the execution of 40 (people) convicted of involvement in the incident, while seven were released for lack of evidence," Iraq's judiciary spokesman Abdel Sattar Bayraqdar said in the statement.
Bayraqdar said the sentences were handed down under Article Four of Iraq's anti-terrorism law, which states that anyone who perpetrates, incites, plans, finances or assists acts of terrorism will be sentenced to death.
A judicial source said all 47 were Iraqi citizens and present in court for their sentencing.
"Some of them actually did the killing and others assisted them in this crime," the official, who could not give his name because he was not authorised to talk to the press, told AFP.
He said the 40 were sentenced to death by hanging.
The court itself did not reveal the identities of the defendants nor any details of the circumstances of their arrest.
The highest estimate for the number of men murdered in the Speicher massacre is 1,700. Tikrit was retaken from IS in April 2015.
The Speicher massacre is considered one of IS' worst crimes since it took over large parts of the country in 2014. (Sources: AFP, 18/02/2016)