[JURIST] The Italian lawyer for former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz [BBC profile] has requested that Aziz be moved to Bakulev Heart Surgery Center in Moscow for heart treatment. Aziz is currently being held by US forces in Baghdad pending possible trial by the Iraqi High Criminal Court now trying Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants. The request was sent to the Russian embassy in Rome to be passed on to Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website, English version]. Giovanni Di Stefano made reference to requests by the late Slobodan Milosevic [JURIST news archive] for release from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia [official website] to Moscow for the treatment of similar heart problems and told reporters "Now we are waiting for an answer... we hope we dont see another death." Aziz's family [JURIST report] and legal team [JURIST report] have said for months that he is seriously ill.
Aziz was a prominent figure in Hussein's regime despite the fact he is not considered to have been part of Saddam's innermost circle [BBC report], which consisted mainly of members of the Tikriti clan. MosNews has more.