Chemical Ali to be executed within 30 days

Iraqi president approves death sentence of Saddam Hussain's cousin, who was responsible for the gassing of up to 200,000 Kurds

The Iraqi government this morning endorsed the execution of Saddam Hussein's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as Chemical Ali. The death sentence must now be carried out within 30 days.

A government adviser said Majid had been sentenced to death for his 1980s scorched-earth campaign against Kurds.

Today's approval by the Iraqi president, Jalal Talabani, and two vice-presidents is the final stage in the decision to execute Majid.

Majid was one of three former Saddam officials sentenced in June to hang after being convicted of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity for their part in Operation Anfal. The crackdown killed nearly 200,000 Kurdish civilians and guerrillas. An appeals court upheld the verdict in September.

The adviser said the president had not yet approved the death sentences against the other two – Hussein Rashid Mohammed, an ex-deputy director of operations for the Iraqi armed forces, and the former defence minister Sultan Hashim al-Taie.

More details soon


Allegra Stratton and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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