- French soldier stabbed while on patrol near Paris
- REPEAT-Will immigration reform get killed in Republican-led U.S. House?
- Planetary alignment peaks with celestial show this weekend
- Rockets hit south Beirut after Hezbollah vows Syria victory
- Two believed dead as heavy rains flood San Antonio streets |
Iraqi ex-VP Ramadan to hang on Tuesday: lawyers
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Saddam Hussein's former vice president, Taha Yassin Ramadan, will be hanged on Tuesday for crimes against humanity, according to legal sources who said his lawyers had been summoned on Monday evening.
Badia Aref, a lawyer representing former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz who faces similar charges, told Reuters Ramadan's family had asked him to appeal to President Jalal Talabani to stop the execution.
Another legal source told Reuters the execution was set for Tuesday at dawn and that the family was making a last-minute appeal to the President to stop it.
"The execution is not legal or correct," Aref said, adding there should be a 30-day period between a final sentence being passed and an execution being carried out.
An Iraqi appeals court last week upheld a decision by the High Court to hang Ramadan and a judge said the death sentence could be carried out "at any moment."
Ramadan was sentenced in November to life in jail for his role in the killing of 148 Shi'ites in the town of Dujail in the 1980s for which Saddam and two former aides have already been hanged. But an appeals court recommended that he receive the death penalty and referred the case back to the trial court.
The trial court in November found Ramadan guilty of issuing orders for the systematic detention, torture and killing of men, women and children from Dujail following an attempt on Saddam's life there in 1982.
Saddam was executed at the end of December within days of the sentence being passed, while the other two were executed in January.
While the Iraqi president normally has the power to stop death penalties being carried out, the prosecution and the government say he has no power of veto when it comes to crimes of humanity.
Born in a peasant family in the northern region of Mosul in the late 1930's, Ramadan worked in a bank before joining the Baath party in 1956 and participating in the 1968 coup that returned it to power.
In 1970, he headed a revolutionary court that executed 44 officers for plotting to overthrow the regime.
Ramadan proposed in 2002, before the start of the war with Iraq in 2003, that Saddam and President Bush settle their differences in a duel with weapons of their choice.
Ramadan was captured in Mosul in August 2003, by Iraqi Kurdish fighters and handed over to U.S. forces.
New York-based Human Rights Watch, which raised concerns about the fairness of the original trial, had said there had been a lack of evidence tying Ramadan to the Dujail killings.
United Nations human rights chief Louise Arbour, who appealed unsuccessfully to Iraq to stop the executions of Saddam and his aides, has also urged Baghdad to spare Ramadan's life, saying a death sentence would break international law.
- Tweet this
- Share this
- Digg this