WorldIraq’s Saddam-era deputy PM asks for speedy hanging

1658918591.jpgIraq’s former deputy premier and foreign minister, Tariq Aziz, who was sentenced to death last October, has called on the country’s incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to speed up his execution because of his deteriorating health, Iraqi media said.

The 74-year-old Aziz, a Christian and former right-hand man of executed dictator Saddam Hussein, was sentenced to death by hanging for persecution of Iraqi religious parties. He suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, prostate problems and ulcers.

“His condition is very poor and he asked me to convey a message to Mr. Maliki, calling on him to execute him as soon as possible,” Aziz’ lawyer Badie Aref said, adding that his client “is suffering.”

Many Western politicians and the Vatican have urged Baghdad to show clemency to Aziz. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani has already said he will never sign the execution order.