Iraq's former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz, the best-known face of Saddam Hussein's dictatorial regime, was sentenced to death today for organizing a crackdown on Iraq's Shiite community two decades ago.
Two other top Hussein aides also were sentenced to hang by Baghdad's High Criminal Court.
Aziz, 74, who also served as foreign minister under Hussein, was condemned to the gallows after being found guilty of "liquidating religious parties," according to the National Iraqi News Agency. Also sentenced to hang were former Interior Minister Saadoun Shaker and Abid Hamoud, the executed dictator's secretary.
All three were sentenced for organizing a crackdown on members of Iraq's Shiite majority community following a failed 1991 uprising against Hussein, Agence France-Presse reported. The former ruling Ba'ath party members will be executed after a presidential council has confirmed the sentences.
This is the third time that Aziz -- a member of Iraq's Chaldean Catholic Christian community -- has been found guilty of participating in atrocities carried out during the Hussein era. In 2009, he was ordered imprisoned for 15 years for the 1992 execution of 42 Baghdad wholesalers. He also was given a seven-year sentence for his role in expelling Kurds from Iraq's north.
He pleaded not guilty on all counts.