An Iraqi court on Sunday sentenced fugitive Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi to death by hanging after a trial on charges he ran death squads, Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, a spokesman for the judiciary council said.
"The high criminal court issued a death sentence by hanging against Tareq al-Hashemi after he was convicted," he said.
Hashemi, a Sunni, fled the country earlier this year after authorities sought his arrest. His case sparked a political crisis in the country's power-sharing government amoung Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish political blocs.
Hashemi accused Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of conducting a political witch-hunt against Sunni opponents, but the government said it was a judicial case. Hashemi is currently in Turkey.