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Iraq to execute Saddam's half-brothers within a month

Iraq said Friday it will execute two of Saddam Hussein's half-brothers within weeks, a day after they were handed over by the United States.

Camp cropper iraqi detainees rszEnlarge
Us forces at the Camp Cropper detention facility outside Baghdad, Iraq in 2008, where Saddam Hussein himself spent three years until he was hanged in December, 2006. On Friday Iraq said it will execute two of Saddam Hussein's half-brothers within weeks, a day after they were handed over by the United States. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)

Iraq said Friday it will execute two of Saddam Hussein's half-brothers within weeks, a day after they were handed over by the United States.

Watban Ibrahim Hassan and Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti were among a group of 206 so-called high-value detainees including senior former regime officials that U.S. forces delivered into Iraqi custody on Thursday.

"We received the final 206 Iraqi prisoners being held by U.S. forces, including five senior officials from the former regime," justice ministry spokesman Haidar al-Saadi told AFP.

"They (the five officials) will be executed within one month. They include Watban Ibrahim Hassan and Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti," two half-brothers of the late dictator.

The group also includes former defense minister Sultan Hashem Ahmed and ex-generals Hussein Rashid al-Tikriti and Aziz Saleh Numan.

All five have been tried and condemned to death for their crimes.

The spokesman said Justice Minister Hassan al-Shammari had discussed the sentences with the presidency council and they agreed to proceed without delay.

"We believe that the council will sign the documents within days and they will be executed within one month," he said.

President Jalal Talabani or either of his two vice presidents must approve all executions.

The 206 prisoners had been held at a detention facility outside Baghdad called Camp Cropper, where Saddam himself spent three years until he was hanged in December, 2006.

Watban Ibrahim Hassan, a former interior minister, was sentenced in 2009 for his involvement in the 1992 execution of 42 merchants, AFP reported.

GlobalSecurity.org said he allegedly oversaw deportations, torture and executions of hundreds of prisoners, and kept tapes of some of the executions at his ministry.

But he did not enjoy Saddam's full trust and was believed to have been shot in the leg by the dictator's son, Uday Husein, during a party in 1995, it said.

The five of spades in the U.S. military's deck of Iraq's most wanted, he is the only senior Saddam-era official to have publicly apologized for wrongs committed by the dictator's Baath Party, AFP reported.

Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti, the six of diamonds, was a close aide of Saddam's and an alleged leader of the insurgency after the U.S. invasion in 2003.

He was sentenced to death in the same trial as Hassan.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/110715/iraq-saddam-half-brothers-execute