Murder of Saddam case lawyer puts fair trial at risk

The murder will make it more difficult to conduct a fair trial of the former dictator because officials working for the prosecution and the defence are both threatened with death.

Saadoun al-Janabi was the lawyer for Awad Hamad al-Bandar, a former judge on Saddam Hussein's Revolutionary Court who stands accused of passing death sentences on people from the Shia town of Dujail, 148 of whom were executed after an attempt to assassinate Saddam in 1983.

The day after proceedings against Saddam were delayed, 10 men dressed in suits and ties arrived in Mr al-Janabi's building in the al-Shaab district of Baghdad saying they were from the Ministry of the Interior. They produced guns, kidnapped him and soon afterwards his body was dumped, with bullet wounds to the head and chest, near the Fardous mosque in the Ur district of Baghdad.

The murder will deepen suspicions among Sunni Arabs and Saddam supporters that they are being targeted. They are already fearful of being hunted by death squads from Shia groups such as the Badr Brigade, the paramilitary arm of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), the largest party in the National Assembly. But with killings in Baghdad running at around a thousand a month and so many groups prepared to kill enemies, it is unclear why Mr al-Janabi was murdered.

The government will now have to try to extend protection to all those involved in Saddam's trial. A witness-protection programme will be difficult to enforce in Iraq, where so many people are armed and likely to seek revenge. Many Sunnis also believe the Ministry of the Interior, now partly under Sciri's control, operates death squads. They will therefore be wary of asking for or receiving protection from the ministry.

However, a leading Sunni politician has said he will take part in talks aimed at "national reconciliation" in Cairo on 15 November. Saleh Mutlaq agreed with the visiting head of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, to take part in the meeting along with around 80 other Iraqi politicians.

Meanwhile, with four more deaths announced yesterday, the number of US military personnel killed in Iraq has reached 1,992.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
Sport
Ronaldinho signs the t-shirt of a pitch invader
footballProof they are getting bolder
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
News
William Hague
people... when he called Hague the county's greatest
Voices
voicesBy the man who has
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
Ed Sheeran performs at his Amazon Front Row event on Tuesday 30 September
musicHe spotted PM at private gig
Sport
Arsene Wenger tried to sign Eden Hazard
footballAfter 18 years with Arsenal, here are 18 things he has still never done as the Gunners' manager
News
Floyd
newsFloyd 'Creeky' Creekmore still performed regularly to raise money for local hospitals
Extras
indybestKeep extra warm this year with our 10 best bedspreads
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 6 Teacher (interventions)

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: We have an exciting opportunity...

PMLD Teacher

Competitive: Randstad Education Manchester: SEN Teacher urgently required for ...

Real Estate Solicitor 2+PQE - City

Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: CITY - HIGH VALUE REAL ESTATE / RESID...

General Cover Teacher

£120 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Are you looking for part time/ ...

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?