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Former Saddam VP seeks to avoid death penalty

[JURIST] A lawyer for Saddam-era Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan [Trial Watch profile] has filed an appeal [DOC text] with the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) [official website] arguing that the Tribunal's Appeals Chamber was not authorized to effectively direct its trial court to deliver a death penalty for Ramadan after originally according him a life sentence. Ramadan was convicted [JURIST report; BBC verdict summary] in November in connection with crimes against humanity committed in the town of Dujail in 1982. The Appeals Chamber ruled December 26 in its decision upholding Saddam Hussein's death sentence [JURIST report] that a life sentence for Ramadan was too lenient and ordered the trial court to re-sentence him. The Trial Chamber is expected to issue a death sentence [JURIST report] later this week.

Ramadan lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano argued Sunday that the Appeals Chamber improperly relied on Article 24 of the IHT statute [PDF text] when directing the trial chamber to increase Ramadan's sentence.

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