‘Chemical Ali,’ Tariq Aziz Get 15 Years In Prison

BAGHDAD — Tariq Aziz, Saddam Hussein’s former foreign minister, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for crimes against humanity.

It’s the first conviction for the man who was familiar as Iraq’s public face to the West.

He was convicted for the 1992 execution of 42 merchants accused of price gouging while Iraq was under U.N. sanctions.

Saddam’s cousin “Chemical Ali” al-Majid, already under three death sentences in other cases, also got a 15-year sentence for his role in the mass execution. Two of Saddam’s half-brothers were sentenced to death.

Today’s conviction came just over a week after Aziz was acquitted of being responsible for a brutal crackdown on Shiite protesters that followed the 1999 assassination of a revered cleric. The cleric was the father of anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada al-Sadr.