Three masked gunmen in a speeding Opel assassinated a second lawyer in the Saddam Hussein trial, casting doubt on Iraq's ability to try the case and leading a prominent war crimes prosecutor to urge moving the proceedings to another Arab country.
Adel al-Zubeidi, lawyer for former Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan, died Tuesday when bullets sprayed his car in a largely Sunni Arab neighborhood of western Baghdad. The shots also wounded Thamir al-Khuzaie, attorney for another co-defendant, Saddam's half brother Barazan Ibrahim.
The brazen daylight attack on a major avenue came three weeks after the kidnap-slaying of another defense lawyer, Saadoun al-Janabi. His body was found Oct. 20, one day after the trial's opening session, where he represented Awad al-Bandar, a former official in Saddam's Baath Party.
No group claimed responsibility for the killings. An Iraqi government spokesman pointed to Saddam loyalists for the latest attack, while the dictator's lawyer blamed the Shiite-dominated government.