Saddam minister Tariq Aziz to face trial

Former Iraqi deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz will go on trial next week over his alleged role in the execution of 42 Iraqi merchants in 1992, his lawyer has said.

Saddam minister Tariq Aziz to face trial
"Aziz will face trial in the Iraqi High Tribunal on April 29, along with eight former officials, including Ali Hassan al-Majid, also know as Chemical Ali, and then interior minister Watban al-Hassan," Badie Aref said.

"Their lawyers will decide to attend the trial if the security situation is suitable."

The case relates to the execution of merchants accused by then president Saddam Hussein's government of raising food prices at a time when the country was under U.N. sanctions.

These merchants were arrested in Baghdad's wholesale markets and executed after a quick trial in 1992.

The former regime also seized their money and properties.

Aziz, who turned himself in to U.S. forces in April 2003, one month after they overthrew Saddam, could also face charges of mass murder, allegedly committed in 1979 and 1991, and could be executed if convicted.

Chemical Ali is already on death row for overseeing a brutal military campaign against Kurdish civilians in 1988 known as Anfal that left 180,000 people dead.

It will be the fourth trial of former regime officials to be conducted by the tribunal.

The trial will be presided by Kurdish judge Rauf Rasheed Abdel Rahman, who sentenced Saddam Hussein to death in 2006 for his role in the killing of 148 Shiites in the town of Dujail after an assassination attempt on him in 1982.

Saddam was hanged on Dec. 30, 2006.

Last Mod: 28 Nisan 2008, 08:57
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