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US refused to hand over Saddam defense minister for execution: report

[JURIST] The US military refused to hand over Saddam Hussein's defense minister for execution in September despite Iraqi government demands, TIME magazine reported Friday. An adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told TIME that US officials refused to deliver Sultan Hashem Ahmed al-Jubouri al-Tai [TrialWatch profile] from detention at US Camp Cropper [JURIST news archive] to an anticipated September 10 hanging because the request had not been approved [JURIST report] by Iraqi President Jalal Talibani [BBC profile]. The necessity of Talibani's approval is under dispute, but a judge with the Iraqi High Tribunal [official website] has said his approval is not required for executions to proceed [JURIST report]. Iraqi officials also suspected, however, that the US was trying to shield al-Tai because of information he provided in the planning of the US invasion of Iraq and facilitating the quick collapse of the Iraqi army. A spokesman for US Iraq commander Gen. David Petraeus has said that given the death sentence against him, al-Tai will still be handed over whenever a proper request is made. TIME has more.

Al-Tai and two other former officials from Saddam Hussein's regime, including Hussein's cousin Ali Hassan al-Majid - known in the Western media as "Chemical Ali" [BBC profile; JURIST news archive] - were all convicted in June of war crimes and crimes against humanity for their role in the slaughter of tens of thousands of Kurds during the 1988 Anfal Campaign [HRW backgrounder]. AP has more.

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