Iraqi President Refuses to Execute Saddam Cohort

He won't sign order for Tariq Aziz
By Dan MacKenzie,  Newser User
Posted Nov 17, 2010 11:25 AM CST
Promoted on Newser Nov 17, 2010 12:16 PM CST
Iraq President Jalal Talabani speaks during a parliament session in Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Nov. 11, 2010.    (AP)
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(User Submitted) – Although Tariq Aziz has been convicted of crimes against humanity and sentenced to death by Iraq's supreme court, the president of the country says he won't sign the order. Interestingly, Aziz is also on trial for attacks on the Kurds, and President Jalal Talabani is a member of the ethnic group; yet he says that he is sympathetic as the former Saddam regime member is an Iraqi Christian who is now age 74.

Rights groups, the EU, Russia, and the Vatican have appealed for clemency since the verdict came down on Oct. 26, and under Iraqi law such a sentence is to be carried out within 30 days, reports AFP. "I think that the page of executions needs to be turned," Talabani said. "I will never sign this execution order."

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