December 2, 2007

US will hold Chemical Ali

US will hold Saddam Hussein's cousin, known as Chemical Ali, and two other former officials sentenced to death, until Iraqi leaders reach a consensus on their fate. Iraq's prime minister, president and a vice-president have been at odds over who has the authority to order the execution of Ali Hassan al-Majeed, former defence minister Sultan Hashem and former army commander Hussein Rashid Muhammad.

The Iraqi government said on Saturday Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had asked US President George W. Bush to order the handover of the three so they can be executed. An Iraqi court in September upheld the death sentence against the three men who were convicted of genocide for their roles in a campaign against Iraq's Kurds in 1988. Under Iraq's constitution, the death sentence should have been carried out within 30 days.

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