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Vatican Calls On Iraq to Suspend Tariq Aziz’s Death Sentence

The Vatican has asked Iraq not to carry out the hanging of its former foreign minister Tariq Aziz.

The 74-year-old Aziz, a former top aide of Saddam Hussein, was found guilty by the High Criminal Court “of the liquidation of members of religious parties” and sentenced to hang, al-Iraqiya television channel said.

“The Catholic Church’s position on the death penalty is known,” Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in an e-mailed statement. The Vatican will adopt diplomatic channels available to try and stop the execution from taking place, he said.

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