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Iraq court sentences 11 to death for Baghad bombings

[JURIST] An Iraqi court on Thursday sentenced 11 men to death for the August 19 bombing of the foreign and finance ministries [BBC report] in Baghdad that left close to 100 dead. The 11 men were found guilty [AP report] of financing, planning, and participating in the attacks. Wisam Ali Khazim Ibrahim, a member of Suddam Hussein's ousted Ba'ath party, confessed [NYT report] to leading the attacks shortly after the bombings took place. He also stated the the attack was ordered by the Ba'ath party operating out of Syria as an attempt to destabilize the government. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki [official website, in Arabic; JURIST news archive], publicly denounced the Syrian government for not taking enough action to prevent the Ba'ath party from financing and planning attacks against Iraq within its borders. The defendants will have a month to appeal the death sentence. No date has been set for their execution.

Iraq is also seeking an investigation into the twin suicide bombings [JURIST report] in Baghdad in October which killed at least 132 people. The bombings targeted the ministry of justice and the headquarters of the local provincial government ahead of an attempt by the Iraqi parliament [official website, in Arabic] to resolve a political stalemate to permit changes to the country's election law [JURIST report]. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari [official profile] renewed calls [JURIST report] in October for a formal UN inquiry to investigate those responsible for bombings. Zebari asked the UN General Assembly and the Security Council [official websites] to appoint a special envoy to probe possible sources that are targeting the country's stability.

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