Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti
Barzan Ibrahim al-Hasan al-Tikriti (February 17, 1951 – January 15, 2007) (also known as Barazan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, Barasan Ibrahem Alhassen, and Barzan Hassan) was one of three half-brothers of Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, and a leader of the Mukhabarat
Iraqi Intelligence Service
The Iraqi Intelligence Service , also known as the Mukhabarat, General Directorate of Intelligence, or Party Intelligence, was the main state intelligence organization in Iraq under Saddam Hussein...

, the Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

i intelligence service. Despite falling out of favour with Saddam at one time, he was believed to have been a close presidential adviser at the time of his capture. On January 15, 2007, he was hanged
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

 for crimes against humanity. The rope decapitated
Decapitation is the separation of the head from the body. Beheading typically refers to the act of intentional decapitation, e.g., as a means of murder or execution; it may be accomplished, for example, with an axe, sword, knife, wire, or by other more sophisticated means such as a guillotine...

 him because wrong measurements were used in conjunction with how far he was dropped from the platform.


  • Mohamed Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti (son)
  • Saja Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti (daughter)
  • Ali Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti (son)
  • Noor Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti (daughter)
  • Khawla Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti (daughter)
  • Thoraya Barzan Ibrahim Hasan al-Tikriti (daughter)

High position in Iraqi government

Al-Tikriti was a leading figure in the Mukhabarat, the intelligence service that later turned to another agency performing the duty of Secret Police
Secret police
Secret police are a police agency which operates in secrecy and beyond the law to protect the political power of an individual dictator or an authoritarian political regime....

, from the 1970s, later taking over as director. During his time in the secret police, al-Tikriti played a key role in the Iraqi regime's execution of opponents at home and assassinations abroad. He was also known for his ruthlessness and brutality in purging the Iraqi military of anyone seen as disloyal.

Al-Tikriti became Iraq's representative to the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 in Geneva
Geneva In the national languages of Switzerland the city is known as Genf , Ginevra and Genevra is the second-most-populous city in Switzerland and is the most populous city of Romandie, the French-speaking part of Switzerland...

—including the UN Human Rights Committee
Human Rights Committee
The United Nations Human Rights Committee is a United Nations body of 18 experts that meets three times a year for four-week sessions to consider the five-yearly reports submitted by 162 UN member states on their compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,...

—in 1989. He was in Geneva for almost a decade, during which he is believed to have managed clandestine accounts for the Iraqi president's overseas fortune. This task was then taken over by a network of foreign brokers, since Hussein had decided that no one in Iraq could be trusted with this task.

United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 officials characterized al-Tikriti as a member of what they called "Saddam's Dirty Dozen", responsible for torture and mass murder in Iraq. U.S. forces captured him on April 17, 2003. Al-Tikriti was the five of clubs in the most-wanted Iraqi playing cards
Most-wanted Iraqi playing cards
In the 2003 invasion of Iraq by a United States-led coalition, the U.S. military developed a set of playing cards to help troops identify the most-wanted members of President Saddam Hussein's government, mostly high-ranking Baath Party members or members of the Revolutionary Command Council...



Al-Tikriti was among the leadership figures who U.S. forces targeted during the Iraq War. In April 2003, warplanes dropped six satellite-guided bombs on a building in the Iraqi city of Ramadi
Ramadi is a city in central Iraq, about west of Baghdad. It is the capital of Al Anbar Governorate.-History:Ramadi is located in a fertile, irrigated, alluvial plain.The Ottoman Empire founded Ramadi in 1869...

, west of Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, where he was thought to be. In late summer 2003, al-Tikriti was confirmed captured alive by U.S. Army Special Forces with a large entourage of bodyguards in Baghdad. He was turned over to Iraq’s Interim Government
Iraqi Interim Government
The Iraqi Interim Government was created by the United States and its coalition allies as a caretaker government to govern Iraq until the Iraqi Transitional Government was installed following the Iraqi National Assembly election conducted on January 30, 2005...

 on June 30, 2004, and was arraigned on July 1, 2004.

Trial and courtroom charges

Al-Tikriti's trial started on October 19, 2005. He was a defendant in the Iraq Special Tribunal's Al-Dujail trial, and Abd al-Semd al-Husseini was his defence counsel. In a first stage, Al-Tikriti stood trial before a five-judge panel for the Dujail Massacre
Dujail Massacre
The Dujail Massacre refers to the events following an assassination attempt against then Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, on July 8, 1982, in the town of Dujail...

. He was charged for crimes against humanity, simultaneously with seven other former high officials (Taha Yassin Ramadan
Taha Yassin Ramadan
Taha Yasin Ramadan al-Jizrawi was a prominent Iraqi Kurd, serving as Vice President of Iraq from March 1991 to the fall of Saddam Hussein in April 2003....

, Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein
Saddam Hussein Abd al-Majid al-Tikriti was the fifth President of Iraq, serving in this capacity from 16 July 1979 until 9 April 2003...

, Awad Hamed al-Bandar
Awad Hamed al-Bandar
Awad Hamad al-Bandar was an Iraqi chief judge under Saddam Hussein's presidency. He was the head of the Revolutionary Court which issued death sentences against 143 Dujail residents, in the aftermath of the failed assassination attempt on the president on July 8, 1982 Awad Hamad al-Bandar ...

, Abdullah Kadhem Roweed Al-Musheikhi
Abdullah Kadhem Roweed Al-Musheikhi
Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid is a former Baath party official in the Dujail region is Iraq, and the father of Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi. He was convicted of involvement in the killings of 148 Shia Muslims during the Al-Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein, and was sentenced to 15 years in...

, Ali Daeem Ali
Ali Daeem Ali
Ali Daeem Ali served as a Baath party official in Dujail in 1982, when he is accused of involvement in the executions of 148 Shia Muslims in the area. He was tried alongside Saddam Hussein and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.-References:...

, Mohammed Azawi Ali and Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi
Mizher Abdullah Roweed Al-Musheikhi
Mizhar Abdullah Ruaid is a former Baath party official in the Dujail region is Iraq, and the son of Abdullah Kadhem Ruaid. He was convicted of involvement in the killings of 148 Shia Muslims during the Al-Dujail trial of Saddam Hussein, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.-References:...

). They were said to have ordered and overseen the killings, in July 1982, of more than 140 Shiite men from Dujail
Dujail is a small Shia town in the Salah ad Din Governorate. It is situated about north of Iraq's capital, Baghdad, and has approximately 10,000 inhabitants. It is the site of the 1982 Dujail Massacre....

, a village 35 miles north of Baghdad. The men were allegedly killed in retribution after a July 8, 1982 attack on the presidential motorcade as it passed through the village. It was alleged that, apart from the killings, hundreds of women and children from the town were jailed for years in desert internment camps, and that the date palm
Date Palm
The date palm is a palm in the genus Phoenix, cultivated for its edible sweet fruit. Although its place of origin is unknown because of long cultivation, it probably originated from lands around the Persian Gulf. It is a medium-sized plant, 15–25 m tall, growing singly or forming a clump with...

 groves, which sustained the local economy and were the families' livelihood, were destroyed.

During the first court session on October 19, 2005, al-Tikriti pleaded not guilty
In legal terms, a plea is simply an answer to a claim made by someone in a civil or criminal case under common law using the adversary system. Colloquially, a plea has come to mean the assertion by a criminal defendant at arraignment, or otherwise in response to a criminal charge, whether that...

. During his trial, he was known for his angry outbursts in court and was ejected on several occasions.

In the weeks following the first audience, serious security concerns for the defense team of Hussein and the other accused became apparent. On October 21, 2005, 36 hours after the first hearing, a group of unidentified armed men dragged one of the attorneys from his office in east Baghdad and shot him dead. A few days later, a second lawyer was killed in a drive-by shooting, and a third, injured in that attack, subsequently fled Iraq for sanctuary in Qatar
Qatar , also known as the State of Qatar or locally Dawlat Qaṭar, is a sovereign Arab state, located in the Middle East, occupying the small Qatar Peninsula on the northeasterly coast of the much larger Arabian Peninsula. Its sole land border is with Saudi Arabia to the south, with the rest of its...


As a result, calls for the trial to be held abroad were heard. The defense lawyers, supported by the Iraqi Bar Association, imposed a boycott on the trial until their security concerns were met with specific measures. A few days before the trial was to resume, the defense team announced that it had accepted offers of protection from Iraqi and U.S. officials and would appear in court on November 28, 2005. The agreement is said to have included the same level of protection that is offered to the Iraqi judges and prosecutors, with measures such as armored cars and teams of bodyguards.

After a short court session on November 28, 2005, during which some testimony regarding the killings in Dujail was presented, Judge Rizgar Mohammed Amin
Rizgar Mohammed Amin
Rizgar Mohammed Amin is the former chief judge of the Iraqi Special Tribunal's Al-Dujail trial. He is the only judge whose name was revealed on the trial's opening on 19 October 2005, the names of the other four judges and all but two of his four colleagues faces not allowed to be shown during...

 ordered a one-week adjournment until December 5, to grant the defence teams time to find new counsel.

On March 12, 2006, the prosecutor announced that if Hussein and his seven co-defendants were sentenced to death in the Dujail case, the sentence would be carried out as soon as possible. Thus, the other cases for which they were indicted would not be heard in court. On June 19, 2006, the prosecutor asked the court, in his closing arguments, that the death penalty be imposed upon al-Tikriti, Hussein and Ramadan.

On November 5, 2006, al-Tikriti was sentenced to death by hanging.


A death sentence or life imprisonment generates an automatic appeal. On December 3, 2006, the defence team lodged an appeal against the verdicts for al-Tikriti, Hussein and al-Bander, who had been sentenced to death. On December 26, 2006, the appeals chamber confirmed the verdict and the death sentence against al-Tikriti.

In November 2006, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani
Jalal Talabani is the sixth and current President of Iraq, a leading Kurdish politician. He is the first non-Arab president of Iraq, although Abdul Kareem Qasim was half Kurdish....

 appealed for al-Tikriti to be moved to medical facilities to receive treatment for his spinal cancer. Al-Tikriti originally made an appeal from his cell to U.S. President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and to Talabani for treatment, referring to the latter as an "old friend".


On January 15, 2007, the death sentence was carried out. Al-Tikriti, along with co-defendants Hussein and the former Chief Justice
Chief Justice
The Chief Justice in many countries is the name for the presiding member of a Supreme Court in Commonwealth or other countries with an Anglo-Saxon justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme Court of Canada, the Constitutional Court of South Africa, the Court of Final Appeal of...

 of the Iraqi Revolutionary Court al-Bandar, was sentenced to death
Capital punishment
Capital punishment, the death penalty, or execution is the sentence of death upon a person by the state as a punishment for an offence. Crimes that can result in a death penalty are known as capital crimes or capital offences. The term capital originates from the Latin capitalis, literally...

 by hanging
Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

. He was originally scheduled to hang on December 30 with Hussein (as he and al-Bandar wished) but due to the Eid
Eid ul-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting . Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity," while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast"...

, lack of time, and lack of logistics (there was no helicopter to deliver them), as well as international pressure, the hangings were postponed to January 15. Al-Tikriti's sentence was carried out at 03:00 local time (00:00 UTC) on January 15, 2007. His death was confirmed at 3:05/00:05 UTC.IBN Live: Saddam gets Death, November 05, 2006, last checked Jan 15, 2007 Barzan was decapitated by the long drop. Al-Tikriti's and al-Bandar's counsel was not allowed to attend, as was the case with Hussein's hanging.

Reaction to the execution

  • – On January 15, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
    Condoleezza Rice
    Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

     said in a news conference with the Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

    ian foreign minister:

"We were disappointed there was not greater dignity given to the accused under these circumstances."

  • – On January 15, in a press briefing by British Prime Minister Tony Blair
    Tony Blair
    Anthony Charles Lynton Blair is a former British Labour Party politician who served as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 2 May 1997 to 27 June 2007. He was the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield from 1983 to 2007 and Leader of the Labour Party from 1994 to 2007...

    's official spokesman, in response to a question as to what Blair's reaction was to the "botched hanging" in Iraq, the spokesman
    A spokesperson or spokesman or spokeswoman is someone engaged or elected to speak on behalf of others.In the present media-sensitive world, many organizations are increasingly likely to employ professionals who have received formal training in journalism, communications, public relations and...


"In terms of the death penalty in Iraq, our position on the death penalty is well known, and we had made that position known to the Iraqi Government again since the death of Saddam Hussein. However, Iraq is a sovereign Government, and therefore has a right under international law to decide its own policy on the death penalty."

  • Al-Tikriti's son-in-law, Azzam Saleh Abdullah, said:

"We heard the news from the media. We were supposed to be informed a day earlier but it seems that this government does not know the rules." He said the execution reflected the hatred felt by the Shiite-led government: "They still want more Iraqi bloodshed. To hell with this democracy."

See also

  • Omar al-Tikriti
    Omar al-Tikriti
    Omar al-Tikriti is the son of Sabawi Ibrahim al-Tikriti and nephew of Saddam Hussein. He is a graduate of Baghdad College, in Baghdad, Iraq. In July 2005, the United States Treasury Department blocked his assets and those of his brothers Yasir Al-Tikriti, Ayman Al-Tikriti, Ibrahim Al-Tikriti,...

     - Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti's nephew
  • Execution of Saddam Hussein
    Execution of Saddam Hussein
    The execution of Saddam Hussein took place on December 30, 2006 . Saddam was sentenced to death by hanging, after being found guilty and convicted of crimes against humanity by the Iraqi Special Tribunal for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shi'ite in the town of Dujail in 1982, in retaliation for an...

  • Capital punishment in Iraq
    Capital punishment in Iraq
    Capital punishment in Iraq was commonly used by the government of Saddam Hussein.After the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. administrator, L...

  • Hanging
    Hanging is the lethal suspension of a person by a ligature. The Oxford English Dictionary states that hanging in this sense is "specifically to put to death by suspension by the neck", though it formerly also referred to crucifixion and death by impalement in which the body would remain...

     - section on "long drop" method

External links

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