Baghdad, March 13 IANS | 9 months ago

Iraq executed three former officials of ex-leader Saddam Hussein's government and four others convicted of terrorism, the country's justice ministry said Thursday, despite international calls to end death penalty in the country.

The ministry said those executed had committed crimes against humanity and murdered former government opponent Talib al-Suhail al-Tamimi in Lebanon, Xinhua reported.

One of the three convicts was Abed Hassan al-Majeed, a cousin of former leader Saddam Hussein and brother to Saddam's aide Ali Hassan al-Majeed, also known as Chemical Ali. The three were found guilty in the killing of al-Tamimi, who was assassinated in Beirut in 1994, reportedly after planning a coup against Saddam Hussein.

The other four were charged with colluding in terror acts.

Iraq frequently announces execution of prisoners deemed to be "terrorists and criminals". That has sparked calls to abolish capital punishment by the UN mission in Iraq, the European Union and some international human rights groups. They have criticised the lack of transparency in Iraqi courts.

Death penalty in Iraq had been suspended for over a year since June 2003. But in August 2004, the Iraqi government reinstated it, saying it would curb widespread violence in the country.

(Posted on 13-03-2014)

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