Iraq ex-VP sentenced to death for second time

[JURIST] The Central Criminal Court of Iraq (CCCI) [OAA backgrounder] on Thursday sentenced former Iraqi vice president Tariq al-Hashemi [JURIST news archive] to death for the second time after he was convicted for his involvement in a plot to assassinate an interior ministry official. In particular, the Sunni ex-leader and his brother-in-law were sentenced to hang [Reuters report] for a charge related to inciting bodyguards to attach an adhesive IED to a ministry official's car. Al-Hashemi was first sentenced to death [JURIST report] in September after being convicted on three counts of murder. That verdict, like Thursday's, was issued in absentia [Iraqi News report] because al-Hashemi has been in hiding since his arrest warrant was issued [Reuters report] in December. Al-Hashemi, who is currently in Turkey to avoid trial in Iraq, denied accusations of being involved in death squads that targeted Shia officials and pilgrims. Though he has yet to issue a statement regarding the CCCI's second death sentence, he has long argued that the charges against him are politically motivated by the Shi'ite-led Iraqi government.

Al-Hashemi is the highest ranking Sunni official with significant support from people in the region, as illustrated by the thousands who protested the charges against him [Al Arabiya report]. The ex-VP's first death sentence came after attacks carried out across Iraq killed at least 64 people. In December al-Hashemi stated that he is not going to return to Baghdad [JURIST report] to stand trial on charges of inciting violence in the country. The statement came a week after an arrest warrant was issued against him by Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki [official website, in Arabic].

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.