'One of Saddam Hussein's most loathed henchman, Ali Hassan al-Majid, otherwise known as Chemical Ali, will be hanged within days, a senior official said tonight, setting the scene for Iraq's highest profile execution since Saddam himself was put to death more than three years ago.
The former spy chief and first cousin of Saddam was today sentenced to death for ordering the slaughter of more than 5,000 Kurds in the northern Iraqi town of Halabja with chemical weapons in 1988.
It was the fourth death sentence the 68-year-old has received for atrocities committed during the brutal three-decade reign of the Ba'athists. Iraq's deputy justice minister, Busho Ibrahim, said Majid's execution was now imminent.
"We will receive Chemical Ali from the Americans in the next few days and he will be executed very soon afterwards," said Ibrahim. Majid was sentenced by Iraq's high criminal court. All remaining prosecutions he faces are now expected to be set aside.'