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Iraq Executes Former Saddam Aide

Iraq has executed Abid Hamid Mahmud al-Tikriti, a close aide and chief bodyguard of toppled leader Saddam Hussein, by hanging, the country's justice ministry said Thursday.

Abid Hamid was sentenced to death in 2010 on genocide charges related to the crackdown on Shiite Muslim religious parties during the 1980s, including assassinations and unlawful detentions.

Under Saddam's rule, only the ruling Baath party was allowed to exist in Iraq. His regime had brutally suppressed any attempts by the country's Shiite majority to form political organizations, resulting in the deaths of thousands of Shiites as well as Kurds.

Abid Hamid was captured on June 16, 2003, by the invading US-led coalition forces. He was eventually sentenced to death on October 26, 2010, along with former deputy premier Tareq Aziz and ex-interior minister Saadun Shaker.

Aziz and Shaker are still waiting execution. Saddam Hussein himself was executed by hanging on December 30, 2006. Incidentally, Abid Hamid execution is the first high-profile hanging since Saddam's cousin, Ali Hassan al-Majid, also known as "Chemical Ali", was hanged to death in January 2010.

During Saddam's rule, the dictator was very rarely seen without Abid Hamid. He was entrusted with the responsibility of handing down Saddam's orders to Iraqi ministries and ensuring his personal safety, and was considered to be more powerful than most ministers.

At the time of his capture, Abid Hamid was number 4 on a list of most-wanted Iraqi officials targeted by American forces after the 2003 invasion. In the list, he was behind only Saddam and his two sons Uday and Qusay.

by RTT Staff Writer

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