Lawyer in Saddam Hussein's Trial Assassinated

Published November 08, 2005

| Associated Press

Three gunmen in a speeding car killed a lawyer for a co-defendant in Saddam Hussein's trial and wounded another attorney Tuesday in Baghdad, a member of the defense team and police said.

Adel al-Zubeidi, who was representing former Iraqi Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, was shot to death and attorney Thamir al-Khuzaie was wounded in the ambush in the Adil neighborhood. Zubeidi was the second defense attorney to be killed in less than a month.

Saddam's main lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi, blamed the government for Tuesday's attack, telling Al-Jazeera television that the shooting was carried by "an armed group using government vehicles."

"The aim of these organized attacks is to scare Arab and foreign lawyers," al-Dulaimi said. "We call upon the international community, on top of them the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to send an investigative committee because the situation is unbearable."

A police general, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the attack occurred when three gunmen in a speeding car pulled alongside the lawyers' vehicle and opened fire.

Saddam and seven others have been charged with the 1982 killings of Shiite villagers in Dujail, a town north of Baghdad, following an assassination attempt. The trial opened Oct. 19 and was suspended until Nov. 28 to allow the defense time to prepare its case.

On Oct. 20, another lawyer in the trial, Saadoun al-Janabi, was abducted from his office by 10 masked gunmen, who later dumped his lifeless on a sidewalk near Fardous Mosque in Baghdad.

Meahwhile, U.S. Marines killed five insurgents and captured 10 others in a city west of Baghdad as American forces there stepped up their campaign to suppress deadly roadside bombs, the U.S. military said Tuesday. Roadside bombs killed at least seven Iraqi security troops across the country.

According to a military statement, the five insurgents died Monday in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, in a series of shootings that began when Marines discovered their attempts to plant bombs in a hole used by militants in the past to conceal explosives.

The incident occurred one day after Army snipers killed eight insurgents who were also trying to conceal explosives in Ramadi, capital of Iraq's most volatile province, Anbar.

Roadside bombs have become the major killer of American forces in Iraq, accounting for most of the 96 deaths among U.S. service members here last month. And roadside bombs killed at least seven Iraqi security personnel Tuesday, according to police.

Four Iraqi soldiers, including a major, were killed by a roadside bomb in Khalis, 35 miles north of Baghdad. To the south, a senior member of the Iraqi police in Basra, Col. Mahmoud Qassim, was killed by a bomb south of the city, police said. Another policeman also died in the attack.

A roadside bomb also killed a policeman and wounded three others Tuesday near the northern oil city of Kirkuk, police said.

In other developments Tuesday:

• Police found six handcuffed corpses in a water treatment plant, police said.

• One civilian was killed when gunmen opened fire in the notorious Dora district in the south of the capital.

• A car bomb exploded near Mustansiriyah University, killing one person and injuring another.

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