Saddam Hussein's personal secretary and distant cousin Abed Hamid Hmoud was executed on Thursday, according to the Iraqi Justice Ministry.

U.S. forces apprehended Hmoud in 2003, shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Formerly a prominent member of Iraq's oppressive Baath Party, Hmoud was charged with the persecution of Shia citizens. Haidar al-Saadi, a spokesman for the justice ministry, told Gulf News that he had been executed for genocide.

The Associated Press reports that Hmoud was a closely trusted personal aide of Saddam Hussein. He was considered the fourth most wanted person in Iraq, following Hussein and his two sons, Odai and Qusai. Hussein was hanged in 2006; Odai and Qusai were killed by U.S. forces in 2003.

Hmoud was sentenced to death in 2010 and hanged on Thursday morning; his body is expected to be delivered to his family by Thursday afternoon.

A new Iraqi government was instituted during the U.S. occupation there, which officially ended in 2011. The parliament is now led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a member of Iraq's Shia majority population, which was persecuted during the reign of Saddam Hussein.