Iraq Sentences Fugitive VP to Death ... Again

Tariq al-Hashemi is tried in absentia

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Nov 1, 2012 1:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Apparently one death sentence wasn't enough for Tariq al-Hashemi. An Iraqi court today convicted the country's Sunni vice president on charges of ordering bodyguards to assassinate a senior government official and sentenced him to death—the second death sentence for al-Hashemi in less than two months. Both sentences were delivered in absentia, because he is in exile in Turkey.

Al-Hashemi fled Iraq in December 2011, when the Shiite-led government accused him of playing a role in numerous attacks. He has previously denied the charges. The criminal court in Baghdad also sentenced al-Hashemi's son-in-law to death on the same charges. Supreme Judicial Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Bayrkdar says the two suspects ordered bodyguards to kill an official by sticking a bomb to his car. Al-Hashemi's attorney says he was not informed about the hearing or verdict.

Iraq Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks to the media during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.
Iraq Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks to the media during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
Iraq Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks to the media as he leaves a meeting with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, unseen, in Ankara, Turkey, Sept. 9, 2012.
Iraq Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks to the media as he leaves a meeting with Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, unseen, in Ankara, Turkey, Sept. 9, 2012.   (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
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