tariq al hashemi trial

BAGHDAD — A Baghdad court sentenced Iraq’s fugitive Sunni vice president to death Sunday after finding him guilty of masterminding the killings of a lawyer and a government security official.

Tariq al-Hashemi has denied the allegations. He fled the country after Iraq’s Shiite-led government leveled the terror charges against him in December.

The politically charged case sparked a crisis in Iraq’s government and has fueled Sunni Muslim and Kurdish resentment against Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite who critics say is monopolizing power.

The Baghdad courtroom was silent Sunday as the presiding judge read out the verdict convicting al-Hashemi and his son-in-law of organizing the murders of a Shiite security official and a lawyer who had refused to help the vice president’s allies in terror cases.

The court sentenced both men in absentia to death by hanging. They have 30 days to appeal the verdict.

The judge said al-Hashemi, who is in Turkey, was acquitted in a third case linked to the killing of another security officer, due to a lack of evidence.

[audio http://www.hulkshare.com/dl/ci34xdrgwz2m/Bad_design.mp3]

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