Russia calls for 'clemency' for Iraq's Tareq Aziz
Russia's foreign ministry on Wednesday called for "clemency" for former Iraqi deputy premier Tareq Aziz after he was sentenced to death by hanging for murder and crimes against humanity.
"It is obvious that considerations of elementary humanity demand that he is shown clemency," the ministry said in a statement, acknowledging however that the sentence was Iraq's "internal affair."
Iraq's supreme criminal court imposed the death sentence on Aziz, the long-time international face of the Saddam Hussein regime, on Tuesday after finding him guilty of "deliberate murder and crimes against humanity."
Aziz turned himself in to US forces in April 2003, days after the fall of Baghdad and was sentenced to death along with two other pillars of the former Iraqi regime, former interior minister Saadoun Shaker and Abid Hmoud, a one-time aide to Saddam.
© 2010 AFP