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'Chemical Ali' sentenced to hang

Story Highlights

• Iraqi court sentences "Chemical Ali" to death by hanging
• Ali Hassan al-Majid sentenced for role in deaths of 180,000 Kurds
• Two other former Saddam Hussein officials also sentenced to death
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- An Iraq court on Sunday sentenced three former aides to Saddam Hussein, including the man known as "Chemical Ali," to death by hanging for their role in a 1980s genocide campaign that that killed up to 100,000 Kurds.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, Hussein's first cousin, earned his nickname for atrocities committed in a military campaign code-named Operation Anfal during the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war.

In the scorched earth attacks, poisonous gas and chemicals were used against the Kurds.

Also sentenced to death was Sultan Hashem Ahmed, Iraqi army commander during the war with Iran. In 1988, he was named chief-in-charge of the Anfal operation.

The third defendant to hang is Hussein Rashid Mohammed, former deputy general commander of the Iraqi armed force, assistant chief of staff for military operations, and former Republican Guard commander.

Life sentences were give to Farhan Jubouri -- former head of military intelligence in northern Iraq -- and Saber Abdel Aziz al-Douri -- director of military intelligence during the Anfal campaign and a one-time mayor of Baghdad.

All five plan to appeal their sentences, chief defense attorney Khalil al-Dulaimi told CNN.

"Iraq is under occupation and the judicial system is illegal, (unjust) and not independent," al-Dulaimi said.

A sixth defendant -- the former governor of the region where the gas attacks occurred -- was cleared on all charges. Chief prosecutor Munqith al-Faroon had requested that Taher Tawfiq al-Ani be acquitted because of lack of evidence.

Hussein was also a defendant in the Anfal trial, but was hanged late last year after being convicted in a separate trial. The Anfal trial began August 21, 2006. Hussein, who also was charged with genocide, was ousted from power after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. He was executed December 30 after his conviction in the 1982 killings in the Shiite town of Dujail.

The Anfal trial resumed a week after Hussein's hanging.

Another trial, yet to begin, is for genocide and crimes against humanity for the brutal suppression of an uprising of the Shiites in the south after the first Gulf War, known by Shiites as the Shaabaniyah uprising because it happened during the Islamic month of Shaaban.

Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali," testifies during his trial last year.


• Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
• Interactive: Sectarian divide
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