#Iraq Sentences 11 Terror Suspects to Death for Bloody August 19 Explosions

Iraq Sentences 11 Terror Suspects to Death for Bloody August 19 Explosions

http://www1.voanews.com/english/news/middle-east/Iraq-Sentences-11-Terror-Suspects-to-Death-for-Bloody-August-19-Explosions–81545512.html

An Iraqi court has sentenced 11 men to death for the massive truck
bombings in Baghdad last August that killed more than 100 people.
Those convicted will now have a month to appeal their sentences.

The sentencing of 11 suspects to be hanged for the bloody car bombings
that ravaged Iraq’s foreign and finance ministries last August appears
to be a clear signal that the government is reacting firmly against
terrorism, less than two months before parliamentary elections are due
to be held.

Close to 100 people were killed and more than 500 more were wounded in
the bombings.

Two more devastating attacks in last October and December also left
hundreds dead and wounded, further eroding the government’s
credibility in maintaining security.

The spokesman for Iraq’s Supreme Judicial Council, Judge Abdul-Sattar
Bayrkdar, said that the 11 were given a fair trial:

He says authorities made sure that conditions were conducive to a fair
trial, regarding the media and the presence of attorneys for the
defense, as well as presenting evidence from the inquest to the
accused. He states that the criminal court set the dates of the
hearings from Dec. 29 to January 14, after making all the needed
preparations. The verdict, he adds, was to hang 11 of the accused men,
condemned for the August explosions targeting the foreign and finance
ministries, in accordance with article 4:1 of Iraq’s terrorism law.

Judge Bayrkdar told Iraqi TV that evidence, including explosives,
detonators and ready-to-deploy car-bombs, were uncovered by
investigators in the locations where the 11 were arrested.

Shortly after the August bombings, Iraqi TV aired what it called a
“confession” by an alleged member of Saddam Hussein’s former Baath
Party. The man calling himself Wisam Ali Khazem Ibrahim confessed that
he was a former Baath member and police officer in the old regime and
indicated that the bombings financed by top Baath official, based in
Syria.

Both Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Foreign Minister Houshiar
Zubeiri have accused both Syria and the Baath party of playing a role
in the bombings. Damascus denies the charges.

Iraq is preparing for nationwide parliamentary elections in March, and
officials have warned that insurgents trying to disrupt the vote could
launch attacks as the election nears.

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