Saddam Hussein’s cousin has been sentenced to death by hanging for killing tens of thousands of ethnic Kurds in the 1980s. Ali Hassan al-Majeed, widely known as “Chemical Ali”, was convicted by an Iraqi court of genocide along with two co-defendants.
It is reported they will appeal their death sentences. Two other former military commanders under the ex-Iraqi dictator were jailed for life while charges against another official were dropped due to a lack of evidence. Prosecutors said Chemical Ali was the architect of the so-called “Spoils of War” campaign in which poisonous gas was used against ethnic Kurds. An estimated 180,000 people were killed in the seven month operation in 1988.
During the trial Ali said he did tell troops to execute all Kurds who ignored orders to leave their villages but he did not admit to ordering the use of chemical weapons. Saddam had also been on trial for the campaign when he was executed in December last year for other crimes.