Tariq Aziz served as Saddam Hussein’s top diplomat for many years and now an official for Iraq’s prime minister says he will be executed in 2012, shortly after U.S. troops pull out of the area.
Speaking to CNN on Monday Iraq adviser Saad Yousif al-Muttalibi said of the planned execution:
“It will definitely take place, and it will take place after the Americans leave Iraq.”
Responding to the news of a planned execution a lawyer for Aziz appeared shocked, noting:
A lawyer for Aziz said he was surprised. “I did not expect the government would be that stupid, by doing this they will drag this country to the edge of the abyss.”
“What about the national reconciliation that this government has been calling for? The government’s position will be even weaker if they carry out the execution after the American troops leave the country and this will lead to more conflict among Iraqi factions.”
News of the planned execution shouldn’t come as a surprise after an October 2010 court hearing found Aziz guilty for involvement in the 1999 massacres of Shiite Muslims.
Captured by U.S. forces in April 2003 and forced to testify during the Saddam Hussein trial his family believes Aziz did nothing wrong and was only acting on behalf of his country during his 22 years in office.
In a statement Aziz’s daughter Zainab Aziz noted:
“My father served his country for more than 22 years. He delivered himself to the U.S. Army (after the fall of Hussein) because he wasn’t afraid. He didn’t do anything wrong. He served his country,” and “He has been wronged.”
Aziz served as the deputy prime minister from 1981 through 2003.
When and where the execution will take place is still unknown.
Do you think Tariq Aziz deserved the death penalty for his involvement in various Iraq citizens murders?