Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Tariq Aziz handed over to Iraqi government by the US
Fifty-five members of the Saddam Hussein regime were handed over to the Iraqi government by American forces this month when the last remaining US-run detention facility, Karkh Prison, was placed under the control of Iraq. Among the prisoners handed over was Saddam’s well-known deputy, Tariq Aziz.
Aziz surrendered to US forces in 2003 and has been in prison ever since, serving a sentence for the killing of 42 Iraqi merchants accused in 1992 of profiteering under the sanctions regime. He suffered a stroke in prison in January.
Aziz’s lawyers have expressed their concerns that he and the other detainees are in danger now that they are in the hands of the Iraqi authorities. Despite assurances from the government that the men will be treated “fairly, transparently and truthfully” there are fears that they will be tortured. It seems fairly clear that the Iraqi authorities will press ahead with trying the men in court and going by past experience it seems highly likely that Aziz and other figures of importance will end up facing the death penalty.
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