Gunmen have 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 defence team sources say.
The attack followed the murder of another defence 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 defence team had already threatened not to turn up for the next hearing on November 28 unless measures are taken to protect them.
The last I heard, the lawyer for one of his co-defendents was dragged from his home and killed. The defense then said they wouldn’t show up unless the trial was moved out of Iraq. The politics involved however say how important it is to the Iraq people to deal with this with their own judges, courts, etc, so it is a PR nightmare, I’m sure.
No what? They just get another lawyer? He has several, doesn’t he? Of course, they might desert him after this.
He has several co-defendants. They each have their own lawyer. So the appearance is that he has a large defense team, but in reality they are not all his lawyers.
The lawyers also are threatening to not go to court. While we could say, “Oh well” it would not go over at all in the international community to have him tried without the assistance of legal aide. The international community also recognizes a responsibility to protect any prisoners (guilty or not) in their care, which means we do have to keep in mind his physical safety as well.
It would be a disaster to have him killed before he was tried. The last I heard, the defense team wanted the trial in Switzerland (land of neutrality).