Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's half-brother and intelligence chief, Sabawi Ibrahim al-Hassan, died of cancer in a Baghdad hospital on Monday, the justice ministry said.

Hassan, who was captured in 2005, had been sentenced to death for "murder and crimes against the Iraqi people," justice ministry spokesman Wissam al-Fraiji said in a statement announcing his death.

Hassan had been transferred from prison to hospital after his condition worsened, Fraiji said.

He was not the only ailing member of Saddam's regime in custody in Iraq.

Tareq Aziz, a deputy premier under Saddam and one of the dictator's close confidants, has been in prison since surrendering in April 2003, days after the fall of Baghdad in the US-led invasion of Iraq.

His family has repeatedly called for his release on health grounds, particularly after he suffered a heart attack in late 2007.

Aziz himself has requested that his death sentence for "deliberate murder and crimes against humanity" be carried out.

Other officials from Saddam's regime have already been put to death, including the dictator himself, who was executed on December 30, 2006.