Iraq sentences 14 to death over Speicher killings

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi judicial authorities have sentenced 14 people to death for involvement in the 2014 mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi air force cadets by Daesh militants in the northern city of Tikrit.

"The Iraqi judiciary sentenced 14 main defendants in the Speicher massacre," Moen al-Kazemi, the head of a government committee on the massacre, said in a statement on Sunday.

“The trial of the defendants was conducted under Iraq’s anti-terrorism act,” he said.

He said the verdicts are still subject to appeal.

“Families of the victims…have called for accelerating the implementation of the verdict at the earliest possible time,” he said.

In June 2014, Daesh terrorists — after overrunning much of northern and western of Iraq — reportedly killed more than 1,700 cadets and personnel at Saladin’s Speicher military academy.

In video footage that purportedly shows the massacre, militants can be seen firing on their victims at close range before dumping their bodies into the Tigris River and into mass graves.

In 2016, the Iraqi government announced it had unearthed the bodies of more than 1,000 massacre victims in the first series of graves to be found in Tikrit.