NPR logo Iraq Clears Way for Execution of 'Chemical Ali'

Iraq Clears Way for Execution of 'Chemical Ali'

A death sentence against "Chemical Ali," once among the most feared men in Iraq, will be carried out within days now that the last legal obstacles have been exhausted, Iraqi officials said Friday.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, a cousin of Saddam Hussein known as "Chemical Ali" for his role in the gassing of thousands of Kurds in the 1980s, was convicted and sentenced in June of last year.

The approval by Iraq's President Jalal Talabani and two vice presidents was the final step clearing the way for al-Majid's hanging. The execution could now be carried out at any time, a government adviser and a prosecutor said.

Saddam and three members of his government have been executed.

Saddam's execution in December 2006 sparked anger among Sunni Arabs, who were outraged by a video showing the ousted leader being hanged to sectarian taunts from official observers.

His half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was executed two weeks later.