A death sentence has been issued by an Iraqi court on Saddam Hussein’s cousin for killing tens of thousands of ethnic Kurds in the 1980s. Ali Hassan al-Majid, widely known as “Chemical Ali”, was convicted of genocide along with two of his co-defendants.
Two other former military commanders under the ex-Iraqi dictator were jailed for life while charges against another official were dropped due to lack of evidence.
Prosecutors said Chemical Ali was the architect of the so-called “Spoils of War” campaign in which poison gas was used against ethnic Kurds. It is thought up to 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 sanctioning the use of chemical weapons.
Saddam had also been on trial for the campaign when he was executed in December 2006 for other crimes.