Saddam's lawyers call for delay in trial
Updated: 2006-02-27 09:17
Saddam Hussein's lawyers are asking for a delay in his trial because of the
turmoil that swept Baghdad after the bombing of a Shiite shrine, one of his
lawyers said Sunday. A court official said a postponement was possible for the
next session on Tuesday.
|Head Judge Abdel Rahman, seen here on 13 February in Baghdad.
Lawyers for Saddam Hussein demanded the disqualification of a judge
presiding over the former Iraqi leader's trial, saying he was biased and
The defense team's request comes amid sectarian violence and movement
restrictions after the bombing Wednesday of a revered Shiite Muslim shrine in
Samarra and ensuing reprisal attacks on Sunni mosques and clerics across Iraq.
More than 200 people have been killed.
"We have asked for a delay because of the security situation. It will be
difficult for our colleagues to attend and there is a curfew as well," said
Khamis al-Obeidi, one of Saddam's lawyers. "We have asked the court and are
still waiting for an answer."
Some of Saddam's lawyers, among them foreigners, will have to fly into the
The government imposed a daytime curfew in Baghdad and three nearby province
in the three days after the shrine bombing. On Sunday, the curfew was lifted but
driving was banned in Baghdad and its suburbs. Officials said roads would reopen
Judge Raid Juhi, a court spokesman, said he believed the next trial session
might be put off if the situation continued unchanged. "In the end it is the
decision of the chief judge," he said.
Saddam and co-defendants have been on trial since Oct. 19 in the killing of
nearly 150 people from the town of Dujail after a 1982 assassination attempt
against Saddam there. They face death by hanging if convicted.