Trial before the Iraqi High Tribunal: sentenced to death by hanging on 5 November 2006; appeal lodged on 3 December 2006; sentenced confirmed on 26 December 2006; executed by hanging on 15 January 2007
Director of General Intelligence, Permanent Representative to UN
Barzan Ibrahim was 18 when he took part in the 1968 coup that brought Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party to power. When Saddam Hussein came to power in 1979, Barzan Ibrahim was given a prominent role in the Iraqi Intelligence Agency (Mukhabarat), while Sa’dun Shakir, Saddam Hussein's cousin, served as its head. In 1982 Barzan Ibrahim replaced Sa’dun as its director due to the latter’s failure to prevent an assassination attempt on Saddam Hussein’s life.
Whilst head of Iraqi intelligence, he was said to have been responsible for the repression of religious and ethnic minorities including forced deportation, disappearances and murder.
He personally was said to have supervised in May 1983 the murder of at least 6 members of the al-Hakim family and was also involved in the arrest of 90 members of the same family.
He was alleged further to have ordered the assassinations of Iraqi dissidents carried out on foreign soil by Mukhabarat agents.
In 1983, he was said to have been in charge of an operation to punish Iraqi Kurds suspected of aiding the Iranians. Eyewitnesses claimed that under his direction, thousands of males aged between 14 and 70 from the Barzani tribe were arrested, held in camps near Irbil, northern Iraq, and then taken away. According to one filed statement, 300-350 men were buried in a mass grave near Kirkuk after being shot, some by Barzan Ibrahim personally. Several other thousands remain unaccounted for.
Barzan Ibrahim reportedly participated in the deportation and mass murder of the inhabitants of the village of Dujail after an attempt on Saddam Hussein’s life.
By the end of 1983, Barzan Ibrahim was replaced as head of Mukhabarat by Fadil Barak al-Tikriti.
Saddam Hussein sent Barzan Ibrahim to Switzerland in 1988 and made him Iraq’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva until 1998.
In Geneva, up until 1995, Barzan Ibrahim handled Saddam Hussein’s personal fortune.
A criminal complaint was filed against him in Switzerland in September 2001 by a member of the Barzani tribe, for the crimes committed in 1983, but Barzan Ibrahim was not arrested (see links).
He was first reported killed in a coalition air raid of his home in Tikrit north of Baghdad in April 2003. But Barzan Ibrahim was in fact captured alive by American forces a week later on Thursday 17 April 2003.