| GEO World|
| Iraq court to deliver Aziz verdict in March|
| Updated at: 1451 PST, Tuesday, February 24, 2009|
BAGHDAD: Iraq will deliver a verdict in March against Saddam Hussein's former deputy premier Tareq Aziz who is on trial over the 1992 execution of a group of Baghdad traders, a court spokesman said on Tuesday.
"The verdict has been set for March 11," a spokesman for the Iraqi High Tribunal told reporters.
Aziz, 73, and seven other defendants have been charged with crimes against humanity in a trial that opened in April last year. They risk the death penalty if found guilty.
The charges relate to the killing of 42 merchants who were accused of speculating on food prices when the country was under punishing UN sanctions imposed after its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Aziz, a Christian who also served as foreign minister under the now executed dictator, who was for two decades the regime's principal spokesman to the outside world.
He is also among 16 former officials on trial in Iraq for a brutal 1980s campaign against Shiite Kurds.
He turned himself in to US forces in April 2003 after Saddam's regime was overthrown, but his son last year complained that he was being held in very bad conditions in custody and was suffering from a variety of ailments.