The body of a defense lawyer in Saddam Hussein's mass murder trial was found dumped in the street with two bullet wounds in the head hours after gunmen dragged him from his office, terrorizing the defense team, who on Friday demanded the trial be further postponed or even moved out of Iraq.
It was not known if the killers of defense lawyer Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi were Saddam opponents lashing out at the team or perhaps Sunni insurgents, who include many former Saddam supporters, trying to disrupt the trial.
The slaying sent a chill among the other 12 defense lawyers who were present at Wednesday's opening session of Saddam's trial.
After discussions among them, they demanded that the trial's resumption, set for Nov. 28, be further postponed if investigations into the slaying are not finished. They also demanded the government provide them protection and even move the trial outside Iraq, said Khamees Hamid al-Ubaidi, one of Saddam's two lawyers.
Moving the trial seemed highly unlikely. The government has fiercely rejected any international venue, insisting Saddam should be tried by Iraqis in Iraq.