Killing Shiites gets Tariq Aziz the hangman's noose

Reversal of fortune. The Shiites are now in charge and  the Shiite-led government is bent on revenge.

Aziz was on trial in a long-running case in which he is accused of being part of a campaign of persecuting, killing and torturing members of the Shiite opposition and the banned religious parties, like the Shiite Dawa Party, of which Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a member.

BAGHDAD – The international face of Saddam Hussein’s regime, Tariq Aziz, was sentenced to death by hanging Tuesday for persecuting Shiites just over three months after the Americans transferred him to Iraqi government custody.

His Jordan-based lawyer, Badee Izzat Aref, accused the government of orchestrating the verdict to divert attention from recent revelations about prisoner abuse by Iraqi security forces contained in U.S. military documents released last week by the whistleblower site WikiLeaks.

“We are discussing this issue and what next step we should take,” Aref told The Associated Press in Amman, the Jordanian capital. “This sentence is not fair and it is politically motivated.” (AP has more)