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Iraq

Death Sentence Upheld for Iraq's 'Chemical Ali'

Ali Hasan al-Majid listens to the prosecution during the 'Anfal' genocide trial in Baghdad in December 2006. Nikola Solic/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Nikola Solic/AFP/Getty Images

Ali Hasan al-Majid listens to the prosecution during the 'Anfal' genocide trial in Baghdad in December 2006.

Nikola Solic/AFP/Getty Images

Death sentences on "Chemical Ali" al-Majid and two other lieutenants of Saddam Hussein for their roles in a decades-old massacre of Kurds were upheld Tuesday, a judge said.

Iraq's High Tribunal upheld the earlier conviction of Al-Majid, Saddam's cousin and former defense minister, became known as "Chemical Ali" after attacks using mustard and nerve gas on Kurdish towns in the 1980s that killed up to 180,000 people. He was convicted of crimes against humanity.

The death sentence were also upheld on former Defense Minister Sultan Hashim Ahmad al-Tai and Hussein Rashid Mohammed, former deputy director of operations for the Iraqi Armed Forces, according to appellate court judge Munir Hadad.

He said the government must carry out the executions within a month.

Life sentences were also upheld for Farhan Mutlaq Saleh, former head of military intelligence's eastern regional office, and Sabir al-Douri, former director of military intelligence, Hadad said.

Saddam himself was among the defendants when the trial began on Aug. 21, 2006. But he was hanged four months later for his role in the deaths of more than 140 Shiite Muslims in the town of Dujail - the first trial against major figures from the ousted regime.

Besides Saddam, three other figures from the former regime have been executed - all in the Dujail case. They include Saddam's half brother and former intelligence chief, Barzan Ibrahim, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar, who headed the Revolutionary Court that sentenced the Dujail victims to death. They were hanged in January.

Former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan had been sentenced to life in prison for his role in Dujail, but he was hanged in March after an appeals court decided the life sentence was too lenient. Three other defendants were sentenced to 15 years in jail in the Dujail case, while one was acquitted.

From NPR reports and The Associated Press

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