New death sentence for 'Chemical Ali'

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Saddam Hussein's notorious cousin "Chemical Ali" has been convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by hanging for involvement in a poison gas attack on Halabja.

Families of some victims in court cheered when the guilty verdict against Ali Hassan al-Majid was handed down today.

He has already received previous death sentences for brutalities during Saddam's rule.

Other officials in Saddam's regime, including former Defence Minister Sultan Hashim al-Taie, received jail terms for their involvement in the 1988 attack on the mostly Kurdish city of Halabja.

Al-Taie faces 15 years in prison, as does Iraq's former director of military intelligence, Sabir Azizi al-Douri.

Farhan Mutlaq al-Jubouri, the former head of military intelligence's eastern regional office, was sentenced to 10 years.

The jail terms were handed down following guilty verdicts on charges that included crimes against humanity.

Nazik Tawfiq, 45, a Kurdish woman who said she lost six of her relatives in the attack came to court alone to hear the sentence. She fell to her knees and began to pray upon hearing the verdict against al-Majid.

"I am so happy today," Tawfiq said. "Now the souls of our victims will rest in peace."

He was sentenced to hang in June 2007 for his role in a military campaign against ethnic Kurds, codenamed Anfal, that lasted from February to August of 1988. He has the right of appeal but it is thought the authorities will want him executed swiftly.