The corpse of Tareq Aziz, late foreign minister during the regime of deposed leader Saddam Hussein, was kidnapped by an armed unidentified group in the Baghdad International Airport while on the way to Jordanian capital of Amman to be buried and later recovered.
According to Badee Aref Ezzat, the lawyer of Aziz family, the corpse was in the hands of the government.
‘’We want to know where the corpse is now and who took it,’’ he said.
Zeyneb Aziz, the daughter of the late minister, said her father’s corpse was kidnapped minutes before the plane took off.
An official speaking on condition of anonymity said Tareq Aziz’s corpse was not in the last flight coming from Baghdad.
His corpse was later recovered by Iraqi authorities, however more detailed information is yet to be given about the recovery.
Aziz, coming from a Chaldean Catholic family from the northern town of Sinjar, changed his name from Michael Yuhanna to Tareq Aziz to allay any hostility to his Christian background.
Tareq Aziz passed away last Friday due to a heart attack at the age of 79 in a hospital in southern city of Nasiriyah.
Aziz, Saddam Hussein’s right hand and the only highest-ranking Christian during his regime, defended Saddam Hussein to the world during three wars.
After fall of Baghdad in 2003, he surrendered to US troops.
In October 2010, he was sentenced to death for persecution of religious parties. After the death penalty, the Vatican asked for mercy for him as a Christian. Jalal Talabani, Iraq’s president at that time, then refused to give death penalty his required signature, citing Aziz’s age and religion.