Iraqi court sentences 24 people to death

Twenty four people sentenced to death by Iraqi court for killing hundreds at US base near Tikrit last year

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

An Iraqi court on Wednesday sentenced 24 people to death who were accused of involvement in the killing of soldiers last year near Tikrit city at a former US base, Camp Speicher, amid an ongoing offensive by fighters of ISIS, an Iraqi official has announced.

All those who were tried and sentenced are Iraqi nationals. Four of the detainees in the case were acquitted, said Abdul-Sattar al-Biraqdar, spokesman for Iraq's Supreme Judicial Council.

“Today the Iraqi central criminal court issued a death sentence against 24 people convicted of the Speicher massacre, based on article 4 of the terrorism law," said al-Birqdar.

More than 600 suspects are wanted in connection with the killings at Camp Speicher.

In June 2014 ISIS detained hundreds of people outside of the Speicher military base on the outskirts of Tikrit. ISIS then reportedly killed more than 1700 people at Camp Speicher, in a massacre which became a symbol of ISIS brutality in Iraq.

Footage was posted by ISIS of the incident showing hundreds of the soldiers killed in the single deadliest act of violence to take place in the Iraq war.

Tikrit was recaptured three months ago by the Iraqi army along with the Iranian-backed Shiite militias of al-Hashd al-Shaabi.

After capturing the city of Tikrit Iraqi authorities began exhuming 12 suspected mass graves in which the bodies of the slain soldiers were thought to be buried.

Iraqi Health Minister Adila Hammoud said in July that the remains of 450 people had been exhumed near the city of Tikrit. It is believed the bodies belong to people who were executed in the Speicher massacre.  

“We have exhumed the bodies of 470 Speicher martyrs from burial sites in Tikrit,” she said in a press conference in Baghdad.

A US-led coalition comprised of 60 countries was formed last September in an attempt to prevent ISIS taking more territory in Iraq and Syria.

More than 10,000 ISIS members have been killed since the US-led international air campaign began attacking ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria nine months ago, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last month.

TRTWorld and agencies