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Iraqi court sentences fugitive VP's guards to death

30 November, 2012

BAGHDAD: Four of fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi's bodyguards were sentenced to death on Thursday for killing a civil defence officer and his wife, judicial spokesman Abdelsattar Bayraqdar said.

The sentences were handed down by the Central Criminal Court for the killings in west Baghdad in 2011, Bayraqdar told AFP.

Death sentences were given to two Hashemi guards on November 8 and six on November 6. The Thursday sentences bring the total number of sentences handed to Hashemi's guards to 12, but it was not immediately clear if some guards had received multiple sentences. Hashemi, a top Sunni official and a prominent critic of Shiite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has himself been handed four death sentences in absentia. He dismisses the charges against he and his staff as politically motivated.

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