Aziz's daughter says appeal won't matter

BAGHDAD, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- The daughter of former Iraqi government spokesman Tariq Aziz says an appeal of his death sentence likely won't stop his execution.

Aziz, the deputy prime minister during dictator Saddam Hussein's regime, was sentenced to die by the Iraqi High Tribunal Tuesday for his role in eliminating opposition religious parties under Saddam's rule.


"I don't think he has any hope of coming out" of prison, Zainab Aziz told CNN from Amman, Jordan.

His family didn't know he was going to be sentenced on Tuesday, she said in the interview.

"My father served his country for more than 22 years. He delivered himself to the U.S. Army (after Saddam fell from power) because he wasn't afraid. He didn't do anything wrong. He served his country," Aziz said of her father. "He has been wronged."

Attorney Badi Arif, who once represented Aziz, said politics played a role in the former deputy prime minister's death sentence.

"Mr. Aziz used to always tell me, 'They'll find a way to kill me, and there is no way for me to escape this,'" Arif told CNN. "But from a legal perspective, this sentence is wrong; this is illegal and this is unexpected."


Amnesty International urged Iraq not to carry out the death sentences handed down against Aziz and two others. The Vatican also urged that the Aziz not be put to death.

"The position of the Catholic Church on the death penalty is known," the Vatican said in a statement. "It is truly hoped therefore that the sentencing against Tariq Aziz not be carried out, precisely to favor the reconciliation and reconstruction of the peace and justice in Iraq after the great suffering it has gone through."

Latest Headlines