The United Nations on Wednesday urged Iraq to spare the life of Tareq Aziz, the former deputy premier and aid to Saddam Hussein who has been sentenced to die.
"The United Nations' position on the death penalty is well-known: that is, that we oppose the death penalty," said Martin Nesirky, spokesman for UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
"Certainly...as in other cases, we would be suggesting that a death penalty should not be carried out," Nesirky told reporters.
Iraq's supreme criminal court imposed the death sentence on Aziz, the long-time international face of the Saddam Hussein regime, after finding him guilty of "deliberate murder and crimes against humanity."
Aziz turned himself in to US forces in April 2003, shortly after the fall of Baghdad, following a US-led military operation to depose the Iraqi leader, who was later caught and executed.
Aziz was sentenced to death yesterday, along with two other pillars of the former Iraqi regime, former Interior Minister Saadoun Shaker and Abid Hmoud, a one-time aide to Saddam.