View Full Version : Another Lawyer In Saddam Trial Shot Dead

11-08-2005, 09:47 AM
Another lawyer in Saddam trial shot dead
He represented codefendant; second lawyer wounded


Updated: 8:26 a.m. ET Nov. 8, 2005

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Gunmen on Tuesday opened fire on a car carrying two lawyers defending some of Saddam Hussein’s co-defendants in a trial for crimes against humanity, killing one and wounding the other, police and defense team sources said.

The attack followed the murder of another defense lawyer in the team who was shot the day after the trial started in Baghdad last month.

Police and defense team sources said Adil al-Zubeidi was killed in the attack in western Baghdad, while Thamer Hamoud al-Khuzaie was wounded.

Both men were on a team defending Saddam’s brother Barzan al-Tikriti and former vice president Taha Yassin Ramadan, legal sources said.

In last month’s attack, Saadoun al-Janabi was kidnapped from his office by armed men who identified themselves as employees of the Interior Ministry. He was murdered on Oct. 20, the day after his court appearance at the start of the trial.

The murder of Saadoun al-Janabi renewed accusations of sectarian violence involving government forces.

The government denied having a hand in Janabi’s murder and said it stood ready to increase already tight security for the trial.

Lawyers want trial abroad
Saddam and seven others are facing trial on charges of crimes against humanity but his defense lawyers, fearful for their lives, on Monday called for his trial to be moved abroad.

In a statement, the defense team called for the “transfer of the place of detention of the president and his aides to another country because of grave danger to their lives”.

It said the team had received no word from the court or the government guaranteeing its safety.

The lawyers said it had become “impossible to continue visits to their clients” in the heavily guarded compound where Saddam and his aides are held.

“The defense lawyers cannot continue their visits because of the increased threats and with the serious deterioration in violence,” the statement said.

Saddam and the seven others were charged with crimes against humanity over the deaths of 148 men after a 1982 assassination attempt against the former president in the village of Dujail.

Trial delayed over scared witnesses
The trial has been adjourned until Nov. 28 after the judge said witnesses were too scared to testify.

Human rights groups have called for the same protection for defense attorneys and witnesses as has been given to prosecutors and judges.

The defense team said it would not cooperate with the court until the authorities met their demand for protection and a full independent investigation into Janabi’s murder.