Iraq court sentences 24 men to death over Tikrit massacre

Friday 03/07/2015
All 24 defendants denied any involvement

BAGHDAD - An Iraqi court sentenced 24 men to death by hanging Wednesday over the June 2014 massacre by jihadist and allied militants of hundreds of mostly Shiite military recruits in Tikrit.

The central criminal court in Baghdad handed 24 of 28 defendants the maximum sentence over the "Speicher" massacre, named after the base from which the victims were captured before being executed.

"After deliberations, the court finds that the evidence collected is sufficient to convict 24 defendants," said the judge. "The court decided they will be executed by hanging."

All 24 denied any involvement in the massacre, committed during the first days of the Islamic State group's broad offensive in Iraq last year.

Around 600 bodies of victims have been exhumed from burial sites in the Tikrit area. Footage released by IS last year shows some of the captured recruits were shot and pushed into the Tigris river.

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