Another Saddam trial defense lawyer killed

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Quigley_Sharps, Nov 8, 2005.

  1. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Gunmen shot two lawyers defending Saddam Hussein's co-defendants in a trial for crimes against humanity on Tuesday, killing one and slightly wounding the other, police and defense team sources said.

    The attack followed the murder of another defense lawyer who was shot the day after the trial started in Baghdad on October 19 and was certain to stoke controversy over whether the former president can get a fair trial amid Iraq's daily violence.

    The defense team had already threatened not to turn up for the next hearing on November 28 unless measures are taken to protect them.

    Police and defense team sources said Adil al-Zubeidi was killed when the two lawyers' car came under fire in the western Baghdad district of Hay al-Adil, 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. Khuzaie was among the lawyers who appeared in the televised trial sitting at the same front bench as Janabi, lawyers who know both men said.

    In last month's attack, Saadoun al-Janabi, representing another of the eight defendants, was kidnapped from his office and shot by armed men who local people said identified themselves as employees of the Interior Ministry on October 20, the day after his court appearance at the start of the trial.

    The government has denied involvement in Janabi's death but the killing renewed accusations of sectarian violence involving government forces and pro-government Shi'ite militias ranged against Saddam's fellow minority Sunni Arabs.


    The latest high profile assassination came as bomb attacks aimed at Iraqi security forces killed at least nine people the day after a suicide car bombing claimed the lives of four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi translator.

    As U.S. and Iraqi troops pushed ahead with an anti-insurgent operation near the Syrian border, violence continued unabated just over five weeks before December 15 elections Washington hopes will set Iraq more firmly on the road to peace and democracy.

    In one of the worst of Tuesday's attacks, four Iraqi soldiers were killed and a fifth critically wounded when a bomb blew up near their patrol car in the small town of Dali Abbas, northeast of Baghdad, police said.

    Another bomb targeted a police patrol in Daquq, near Kirkuk, killing two policemen and wounding three more, police said.

    Another policeman was killed in Baquba, north of Baghdad, and a security force colonel and his brother were killed by a bomb in Basra in the south.

    On Monday four U.S. soldiers and their Iraqi translator were killed by a suicide car bomber who attacked their checkpoint near Baghdad.

    It was one of the highest U.S. tolls from a single attack in recent weeks and a rare instance of suicide bombers hitting a difficult target like a checkpoint rather than a soft civilian target such as a market.

    Iraqi security forces come under frequent attack from roadside bombs, known as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), and casualties are often higher than among U.S. troops because the Iraqis do not have the same level of protective clothing and armored vehicles.

    In western Iraq near the Syrian border, Operation Steel Curtain entered its fourth day with Marines and Iraqi troops pushing through the dusty town of Qusayba in search of al Qaeda insurgents. The U.S. says it has killed 36 insurgents so far in the operation, and one U.S. marine was shot dead.

    Operation Steel Curtain is the latest in a series of offensives aimed at securing western Iraq against Sunni Arab insurgents and foreign fighters before the December 15 election.

    Sectarian tensions are dominating campaigning for the poll, where the 20 percent minority Sunni Arabs are expected to vote in large numbers for the first time since the fall of fellow Sunni Saddam Hussein in 2003.

    (Additional reporting by Aref Mohammed in Kirkuk, Faris al- Mehdawi in Baquba, Paul Tait and Mussab Al-Khairalla, Mariam Karouny, Claudia Parsons in Baghdad and Abdel-Razzak Hameed in Basra)
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