Tags: tariq aziz | body | missing | recovered | airport

Tariq Aziz Body Goes Missing Then Is Recovered at Airport

By    |   Friday, 12 Jun 2015 08:24 AM

The body of Tariq Aziz, a top lieutenant of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein, was recovered by the government after it was reportedly stolen at the Baghdad International Airport.

Aziz, who acted as prime minister under Hussein, had been in prison for 12 years after he surrendered to United States military, reported Al Jazeera. He died last week of an apparent heart attack and was expected to be taken to Jordan for a funeral before his body went missing from the airport.

 


"The government has been able to get the body from the unidentified men who took it," said Badee Aref Ezzat, Aziz's family attorney. "But, we don't know where the body exactly is right now or what will happen next."

Al Jazeera said Aziz was sentenced to death for crimes committed under Hussein's Baathist government, but his execution was never carried out. His son Ziyad Aziz had asked that his father's be buried in Jordan for fear that his grave would be attacked in Iraq.

Aziz, the highest-ranking Christian in Hussein's government, became forever linked to Hussein as his prime minister during the U.S. invasion of the country and was convicted of persecuting members of the country's dominate Shiite Muslims, reported The Associated Press.

"He stood out as one of the few members of that clique who did not come from the villages around Tikrit, and as the only Christian in such a senior post," wrote Charles Tripp of The Guardian. "In the eyes of Saddam this was to his advantage, since, as a Christian, he had no social power base and could have no ambitions to hold power himself."

The Guardian said Aziz was born Mikhail Yuhanna in Tel Kaif, near Mosul, to a Chaldean Catholic family and graduated from Baghdad's College of Fine Arts in 1958.

The newspaper said he gravitated to the Ba'ath Party in the late 1950s with its call for Arab nationalism along with its secular and anti-imperialist views. He changed his name shortly after that to Tariq Aziz.

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The body of Tariq Aziz, a top lieutenant of former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein, was recovered by the government after it was reportedly stolen at the Baghdad International Airport.
tariq aziz, body, missing, recovered, airport
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2015-24-12
Friday, 12 Jun 2015 08:24 AM
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