January 23, 2013: Tareq Aziz, the late Saddam Hussein's ailing former deputy premier now on death row, is suffering from depression and plans to ask the Pope to call for his speedy execution, his lawyer said.
Badie Aref said Aziz, a Christian, believed he was being treated well in prison, but was suffering from ill health and simply wanted an end to his "misery."
"He is in total depression," Aref told AFP by telephone after meeting with Aziz earlier on Wednesday.
The lawyer said Aziz had told him: "I will now write an appeal to the Pope. Even though I have never met him in person, I will call for him to end my misery, because I would prefer to be executed rather than stay in this condition."
Aziz, a close confidante of now-executed dictator Saddam, was sentenced to death in October 2010 after having been found guilty of "deliberate murder and crimes against humanity."
The Vatican, the European Union and several Western governments have called on Baghdad for clemency.
Aziz has been in prison since surrendering in April 2003, days after the fall of Baghdad in the US-led invasion of Iraq.
His family has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds, particularly after he suffered a heart attack in late 2007.
He also suffers from high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes and ulcers.
Source: AFP, January 23, 2013
Jun 11, 2011
June 9, 2011: Sentenced to hang in Iraq, Saddam Hussein's ex chief of diplomacy Tareq Aziz has serious health problems and does not want to die in jail. His son Ziad asked the Iraqi government to put an end to his suffering.
Jul 14, 2010
AMMAN — Iraq's jailed ex-deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz (left) has been handed over by the US military to the Iraqi authorities, his lawyer said on Wednesday, warning that his client's life is "in danger now." "The American ...
Oct 26, 2010
BAGHDAD — Tariq Aziz, a former top aide to Saddam Hussein, was sentenced to death by an Iraqi court on Tuesday for crimes against members of rival Shiite political parties. The ruling was the latest in a series of criminal ...
Nov 29, 2010
BAGHDAD (AP) — An Iraqi court on Monday convicted Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein's longtime foreign minister, of terrorizing Shiite Kurds during the Iran-Iraq war, sentencing him to 10 years in prison. The jail term piles a new ...