Fugitive Iraq V-P handed second death sentence
BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraq's Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi, a critic of Premier Nuri al-Maliki and one of the country's top Sunni officials, was handed a second death sentence in absentia on Thursday.
Defence lawyers for Mr Hashemi, who has been abroad since charges of running a death squad were filed against him in December, protested they had not been informed of the sentencing hearing over a plot to murder a security official.
Mr Hashemi has previously dismissed the charges brought against him by Mr Maliki's Shiite-led government as politically motivated.
"The central criminal court of Iraq issued a death sentence against Tareq al-Hashemi and Ahmed Qahtan, because he (Hashemi) urged his guards to put a bomb on a car belonging to an interior ministry officer," said judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar. He did not give further details.