First Published: 2013-01-23


Tareq Aziz appeals for Popes help to end his misery


Saddam Hussein's ailing former deputy premier is suffering from depression, plans to ask Pope to call for his speedy execution.


Middle East Online

In total depression

BAGHDAD - Tareq Aziz, the late Saddam Hussein's ailing former deputy premier now on death row, is suffering from depression and plans to ask the Pope to call for his speedy execution, his lawyer said Wednesday.

Badie Aref said Aziz, a Christian, believed he was being treated well in prison, but was suffering from ill health and simply wanted an end to his "misery."

"He is in total depression," Aref said by telephone after meeting with Aziz earlier on Wednesday.

The lawyer said Aziz had told him: "I will now write an appeal to the Pope. Even though I have never met him in person, I will call for him to end my misery, because I would prefer to be executed rather than stay in this condition."

Aziz, a close confidante of now-executed dictator Saddam, was sentenced to death in October 2010 after having been found guilty of "deliberate murder and crimes against humanity."

The Vatican, the European Union and several Western governments have called on Baghdad for clemency.

Aziz has been in prison since surrendering in April 2003, days after the fall of Baghdad in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

His family has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds, particularly after he suffered a heart attack in late 2007.

He also suffers from high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and ulcers.


Turkey’s largest media group to be sold to Erdogan ally

Syrian rebels reach evacuation deal in Eastern Ghouta town

Abbas calls US ambassador to Israel 'son of a dog'

UN says Turkey security measures 'curtail human rights'

'Saudization' taking its toll on salesmen

Exiled Syrian doctors treat refugees in Turkey

Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for eight months in jail

UN launching final push to salvage Libya political agreement

Conditions for displaced from Syria's Ghouta 'tragic': UN

Sisi urges Egyptians to vote, denies excluding rivals

Rights Watch says Libya not ready for elections

Saudis revamp school curriculum to combat Muslim Brotherhood

American mother trapped in Syria’s Ghouta calls out Trump

Syria workers say French firm abandoned them to jihadists

Grim Nowruz for Kurds fleeing Afrin

Sarkozy back in custody for second day of questioning

Israel confirms it hit suspected Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007

Netanyahu says African migrants threaten Jewish majority

US Senate votes on involvement in Yemen war as Saudi prince visits

What a ‘limited strike’ against Syria’s Assad might mean

Natural gas in eastern Mediterranean fuels increasing tensions

Erdogan tells US to stop ‘deceiving’, start helping on Syria

IS controls Damascus district in surprise attack

French ex-president held over Libya financing allegations

NGO says Israeli army violating Palestinian minors’ rights

Human rights chief slams Security Council for inaction on Syria

US warns Turkey over civilians caught in Syria assault

Saudi crown prince keen to cement ties with US

Erdogan vows to expand Syria op to other Kurdish-held areas

Kurdish envoy accuses foreign powers of ignoring Turkish war crimes

Morocco authorities vow to close Jerada's abandoned mines

Israeli soldier sees manslaughter sentence slashed

Turkey insists no plans to remain in Afrin

Cairo voters show unwavering support for native son Sisi

Forum in Jordan explores new teaching techniques

Gaza Strip woes receive renewed attention but no fix is expected

Kurds, Syrian opposition condemn Afrin looting

36 jihadists killed in Egypt’s Sinai

Israel arrests French consulate worker for gun smuggling

Pro-Turkish forces loot Afrin

Israel prepares to demolish Jerusalem attacker's home

Saudi crown prince says his country to seek nuclear bomb if Iran does

Arab women artists in diaspora focus on identity and loss

Tunisia’s Central Bank targets inflation but may hurt growth prospects

Libya’s health system reflects a larger humanitarian crisis