Iraq delays death penalty hearing
An Iraqi court has postponed a decision on whether to execute
Taha Yasin Ramadan, who was vice-president under
He was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the killing of 148 Shia villagers
in Dujail in 1982.
The Appeals Court ruled that the sentence was too lenient and recommended
the death sentence.
Three of his co-defendants, including ex-President Saddam Hussein have
already been executed by hanging.
The Iraqi High Tribunal adjourned the hearing until 12 February after
the lawyers for the prosecutors seeking the death sentence failed to appear
because they were not notified, judge Ali al-Kahishi said.
Taha Yasin Ramadan was originally sentenced on 5 November, the same day
Saddam Hussein, his half-brother and former head of Iraq's secret police
Barzan al-Tikriti, and Awad Hamed al-Bandar - a former head of Iraq's Revolutionary
Court - were sentenced to death for the Dujail killings.
Saddam Hussein was hanged on 30 December. Barzan and al-Bandar
were hanged on 15 January.
All three executions have been criticised by the international community.
Three other defendants in the Dujail trial were each sentenced to 15 years in prison
while a seventh defendant was acquitted.