Gunmen kill lawyer defending Saddam’s half-brother
BAGHDAD, Nov 8 (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.