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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 November 2005, 14:57 GMT
Saddam trial lawyer is shot dead
Lawyers for Saddam Hussein and his co-defendants
The defence lawyers have called for the trial to be moved abroad
A lawyer for one of Saddam Hussein's co-defendants has been shot dead in the Iraqi capital Baghdad while another has been injured.

Gunmen are said to have opened fire on a car carrying both men, killing Adel al-Zubeidi and wounding Thamer Hamoud al-Khuzaie.

The attack follows the killing of another defence lawyer last month.

Saddam Hussein and seven co-defendants are on trial over the killing of more than 140 Shia men in Iraq in 1982.

The two lawyers shot on Tuesday were defending Saddam Hussein's half-brother Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, and former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, members of the defence team said.

They were caught in an ambush in the Adil neighbourhood, said fellow lawyer Khamis al-Obeidi.

On 20 October, the day after the start of the high-profile trial in Baghdad, Sadoun Nasouaf al-Janabi was kidnapped by gunmen from his office in Baghdad and later found dead.

The defence team has called for the trial to be moved abroad because of the dangers to those involved.

They also complain Saddam and other defendants can not expect a fair trial when witnesses will be too scared to testify.

'Doing their job'

After Tuesday's attack, Mr Obeidi said: "The government bears the responsibility because it is supposed to protect the citizens.

"If there were a serious investigation into the previous murder of Janabi and the perpetrators had been arrested, we would not see today's crime.

"We demand a thorough investigation and severe punishment for the criminals behind today's terrorist crime against lawyers who were only doing their job."

The defence team had already threatened not to turn up for the next stage of the trial on 28 November, unless they are given much greater security.

The trial concerns the massacre of Shia villagers from Dujail, 60km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, following an assassination attempt there against Saddam Hussein.

All the defendants pleaded not guilty. If convicted they could be executed.


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