First Published: 2012-11-08

 

Iraq court sentences Hashemi's guards to death

 

Court accuses fugitive VP’s two bodyguards of planting roadside bomb in Baghdad as defense lawyers call verdict unfair.

 

Middle East Online

Hashemi dismisses the charges against he and his staff as politically-motivated

BAGHDAD - Two guards of vice president Tareq al-Hashemi were Thursday sentenced by an Iraqi court to death for planting a roadside bomb, at a hearing boycotted by defence lawyers who said it was unfair.

Hashemi, a top Sunni official and a prominent critic of Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has himself being handed four death sentences in absentia. He dismisses the charges against he and his staff as politically-motivated.

Thursday's rulings follow death sentences for six other bodyguards at a hearing on Tuesday. Defence lawyers stayed away from both trials to protest what they alleged were pre-arranged verdicts.

"The court issued death sentences for two bodyguards of Tareq al-Hashemi because they were accused of being responsible for a bomb explosion at Mustansariyah intersection" in east Baghdad, said Muayad al-Izzi, who heads Hashemi's defence team.

"Defence lawyers boycotted the case, because it seems the rulings of the court have already been decided," he added.

Izzi said his team were considering boycotting further hearings on charges against Hashemi scheduled for December 2 and December 5, but had not yet made a final decision on whether or not to do so.

Judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar did not respond to requests for comment.

Hashemi, his secretary and his guards were originally accused of running a death squad in mid-December 2011 as the last US troops left the country.

He fled to Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, which declined to hand him over to the federal government, and then embarked on a tour that took him to Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and finally to Turkey.

 

Arab leaders meet in Sweimeh on conflicts, 'terror'

No unanimity on Syria ahead of Arab Summit

4 besieged Syria towns to be evacuated under deal

Tunisians demand Muslim marriage decree revoked

Historic Casablanca buildings crumbling in silence

US arrests Turkish banker for helping Iran violate sanctions

Turkey voices opposition to Kurdish flag in Kirkuk

Engineers to carry out urgent maintenance on IS-held Syria dam

Palestinian president meets Trump envoy at Arab summit

UN says over 300 civilians killed since start of west Mosul offensive

Disputed Iraqi province votes to fly Kurdish flag

Germany laments Turkey's 'unacceptable' spying

Syria opposition says no peace deal without US role

Turkey sends delegation to UK over electronics ban

UN chief urges Arab leaders to confront Syria war

Carlos the Jackal sentenced to life for Paris bombing

Arab League set to oppose Trump Israel embassy shift

Tributes flood in for anti-apartheid hero Ahmed Kathrada

US vows to never allow 'Israel-bashing' at UN

Netanyahu ban on MP visits to flashpoint holy site challenged

IS launches counter-attack to defend north Syria town

Saudi intercepts four ‘smuggled’ Yemen rebel missiles

Saudi to set up investment fund to help Jordan

Iran slams Bahrain terror cell claims as ‘delusional’

UN says 30 million unsure of next meal in MENA region

Putin to meet Iran President in Moscow

US, allies talk of post-ISIS future, but have no plan

Al-Qaeda, on the rise again, hits Assad where it hurts

Germany’s Turks cast early ballots for Erdogan referendum

German court convicts Pakistani of spying for Iran

Qatar to invest £5bn in UK within five years

'Kill Erdogan' banner probed in Switzerland, Turkey

Arab League chief urges resolution to Syria conflict

Serious challenges for Arab leaders in Amman

Israel arrests 22 ultra-Orthodox sex offenders

Syrian forces pause offensive on IS-held dam for repairs

Dubai's Emaar Malls offers $800m to buy Souq.com

Iraq launches fresh Mosul Old City advance

US-backed fighters battle IS near north Syria town

Hamas partially reopens Beit Hanoun crossing

Iraq investigates Mosul civilian deaths

In Algeria, everyone wants to be MP, few likely to vote

Yemeni rebel supporters flood streets on conflict’s anniversary

Syria fighting damages IS-held dam posing rising water risk

Iran to symbolically sanction 15 US companies