BAGHDAD (AFP) - Iraqs supreme criminal court sentenced former deputy prime minister Tareq Aziz to death on Tuesday, the first death sentence handed down against the long-time international face of the Saddam Hussein regime. The supreme criminal court issued an execution order against Tareq Aziz for his role in eliminating religious parties, state television reported. It said that the court also ordered death sentences against two other top Saddam lieutenants, former interior minister Saadoun Shaker and Abid Hamoud, the executed dictators aide. All three were sentenced for their role in a crackdown on Shias, which followed a 1982 assassination attempt against Saddam in Dujail, a mainly Shia town north of Baghdad, the courts spokesman Mohammed Abdul Saheb said. The order was for the crackdown on religious parties which took place in the 1980s, Abdul Saheb told AFP. There was another bigger crackdown against Iraqs Shia majority community following a 1991 uprising against Saddam. By law, the death sentences have to be confirmed by the presidential council before being carried out. One of the main charges against Saddam, who was executed in 2006, related to the killing of more than 140 Shia men in Dujail after an attack on his motorcade. During his trial, Saddam admitted he had ordered that the farms of those convicted of trying to kill him be razed, but also said that he alone should be made to answer for his regimes actions.Azizs Jordan-based son Ziad told AFP on Tuesday that the death sentence against his father proved the revelations made about the Iraqi state by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The decision was an act of revenge against anybody and anything related to the past, he said. It proves the credibility of the information published by WikiLeaks... This verdict is a disgrace, said Ziad, who has lived in Amman with his family since 2003. WikiLeaks published 391,832 classified US military documents on Iraq on Friday which its founder Julian Assange said showed the war was a bloodbath on every corner with numerous reports of abuse of detainees by Iraqi forces, often supported by medical evidence. Of the three former top officials sentenced to death on Tuesday, the urbane Aziz was by far the most prominent figure. In 2009, he was jailed for 15 years for the 1992 execution of 42 Baghdad wholesalers and separately given a seven-year term for his role in expelling Kurds from Iraqs north. He pleaded not guilty on all counts. Among Saddams few surviving top cohorts, Aziz turned himself in to US forces in April 2003, days after the fall of Baghdad. Named foreign minister in 1983 and then deputy prime minister in 1991, Aziz exploited his mastery of English to put a gloss on Saddam Husseins regime for two decades. As Saddams principal spokesman, the bespectacled Aziz - the only Christian in the dictators inner circle - was a recognisable figure internationally whose rise was attributed to unswerving loyalty to his master. Azizs family has repeatedly called for his release from custody, saying the 74-year-old was in poor health suffering from heart and respiratory problems, high blood pressure and diabetes. In September, Ziad Aziz said the Iraqi government wanted his father to die in Baghdads Kadhmiyah jail and had shown no compassion for his declining health.