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The US District Court for the District of Columbia ruled Tuesday that it has no jurisdiction to block the Iraqi death sentence for former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan. Ramadan was convicted by the Iraqi High Tribunal (IHT) in November and originally sentenced to life in prison. The IHT Appeals Chamber later deemed the sentence too lenient and ordered the death penalty for Ramadan.

Following the example of suspected Iraqi terrorist and US citizen Shawqi Omar, Ramadan brought a petition for a writ of habeas corpus before the federal court. Basing his claim on the fact that he is presently in US custody, Ramadan claimed that he would be subject to harm if turned over to Iraqi officials. Judge Paul Friedman ruled that regardless of whether Ramadan was in US custody, a US court lacks jurisdiction over an alien who is detained overseas and convicted by a foreign court. Friedman stated from the bench that granting the petition would constitute an improper collateral review of another court's decision.


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