Found guilty and sentenced to death for war crimes and crimes against humanity in the second trial before the Iraqi High Tribunal ("Anfal" trial) on 24 June 2007 ; appealed against the judgment; a third process against him and 14 others is set to begin on 21 August 2007; death sentence upheld by the Appeals Court; execution delayed until a date to be determined
Sultan Hashem Ahmed al-Jabburi al-Tai was born circa 1944 in Mosul, Iraq. Hashem Ahmed did not initially have any family ties to Saddam Hussein, but one of his daughters later married Qusay Hussein, the youngest son of Saddam Hussein, long considered by many as his evident heir.
Hashem Ahmed began his career in military intelligence after graduating from Baghdad's National Security Institute in 1975.
He served Saddam Hussein during the 1980-1988 war with Iran, and was appointed Commander. In 1988, Hashem Ahmed was given responsibility for the Al-Anfal Operation. This operation resulted in the killing of several thousand Iraqi Kurds, which included in part the Halabja massacre.
On 12 March 1988, only four days before the Halabja massacre, Saddam Hussein visited the city of Sulemani and held a meeting with Hashem Ahmed, the Chief of the Al-Anfal Operation. On 19 March 1988, three days after the chemical bombing of Halabja, Iraqi forces managed to capture the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) headquarters in Sargalo areas in south Kurdistan. The first phase of the Al-Anfal Operation was thus completed.
In one of his letters to Saddam Hussein, Hashem Ahmed reported on the progress of the Al-Anfal Operation and signed the letter “General, Sultan Hashem Ahmed, Leader of the Al-Anfal Operation, 19-03-1988”.
Hashem Ahmed also gained a reputation as one of the most courageous Iraqi officers during the Iraq-Iran war, and was decorated for this by Saddam Hussein.
Hashem Ahmed was subsequently promoted to Commander of Iraqi III Military Corps, and later was the one who negotiated and signed the cease-fire with the Commander in Chief of US Central Command, Norman Schwarzkopf.
In April 1995, he was promoted Army Chief of Staff. In July 1995, he was appointed Minister of Defence. As Minister of Defence, he was very active in the first phase of the war against the U.S that started in March 2003. He was often seen on television meeting with the victims at bombed sites in Baghdad.
According to U.S. Central Command, Hashem Ahmed turned himself in on Friday 19 September 2003. Hashem Ahmed gave himself up after negotiating a promise to release him after investigations were completed.
The London-based Alquds Alarabi newspaper reported on Thursday, 27 November 2003 that the Iraqi Defence Minister, Hashem Ahmed had been released and was living in his house in Mosul, under the protection of his Al-Ta'i Tribe.
Some sources claimed that Paul Bremer, the Administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority, had asked Hashem Ahmed to become the new President of Iraq because of the respect he enjoyed among the Iraqi military. However, the Iraqi Defence Minister was said to have refused this offer.
He was then turned over to Iraq's Interim Government on 30 June 2004 and was arraigned on 1 July 2004.