Iraq’s highest court has sentenced Tariq Aziz, the former deputy prime minister, and Ali Hassan al-Majid, a power broker in Saddam Hussein’s government, to 15 years in jail.
The pair were convicted in Baghdad, the capital, on Wednesday of crimes against humanity in regards to the killing of 42 Baghdad merchants in 1992.
Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan and Sabaawi Ibrahim, two of Saddam’s half-brothers, were also sentenced by the court to death by hanging for their involvement in the same case.
Saddam’s secretary was given life in jail.
The merchants had been accused of speculating on food prices when Iraq was subject to UN sanctions after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Al-Majid already has three death sentences against him – the most recent of which was delivered on March 2 – for the murder of Shia Muslims 20 years ago.
Aziz was acquitted of war crimes charges during that court session.
Wednesday’s conviction is the first against Aziz, who acted as Saddam’s spokesman for two decades.
Al-Majid and Aziz are among 16 former officials on trial for a violent campaign against Shia Kurds.
They are accused of gassing members of the Fayli Kurdish community as part of a chemical weapons testing programme and as human shields during Iraq’s war with neighbouring Iran from 1980 to 1988.
Aziz surrendered to US forces in April 2003 after Saddam Hussein’s government was overthrown