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'Chemical Ali,' others sentenced in Iraq

March 11, 2009 at 9:16 AM

BAGHDAD, March 11 (UPI) -- A former senior Iraqi official under President Saddam Hussein known as "Chemical Ali" has drawn a 15-year prison sentence for war crimes, officials said.

Ali Hassan Majid and former deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz were given 15-year prison terms Wednesday by Iraq's Supreme Criminal Court for their roles in the 1992 executions of 42 Baghdad merchants, CNN reported.

The court also reportedly handed down death penalties for two of Saddam's half-brothers, Watban Ibrahim Hassan and Sabaawi Ibrahim Hassan, for their involvement in the massacre. Watban was serving as Iraq's interior minister at the time the merchants were executed, while Sabaawi was serving as the country's director general of public security, KUNA, the Kuwait news agency, reported.

Majid has already been sentenced to death three times by Iraqi courts for his roles in using chemical weapons to kill thousands of Kurds in 1987 and 1988; for brutally crushing post-Gulf War rebellions in Shiite southern Iraq and the Kurdish north; and for his role in the assassination of Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Sadr in 1999.

No execution has been set for Majid, analysts say.

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