Iraq’s Sunni VP receives 3rd death sentence
BAGHDAD - The Associated Press
Tariq al-Hashemi. AP PhotoAn Iraqi court has handed the country’s fugitive Sunni vice president a new death sentence on charges of instigating his bodyguards to attack Shiite pilgrims.
Sunday’s sentence was the third for Tariq al-Hashemi since last spring when judicial authorities started to try him on terrorism charges. All verdicts are delivered in absentia since he is in exile in Turkey. He fled Iraq in December 2011, when the Shiite led-government leveled accusations against him.
The court also sentenced his son-in-law to death on the same charges: planning to attack pilgrims by a car bomb last Dec. in southeastern Baghdad. Security forces reportedly foiled the attack and seized the car.
Al-Hashemi has dismissed the charges as a political vendetta pursued by his long-time rival, Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.