Saddam's lawyers suspend contact with tribunal

Saadoun Sughaiyer al-Janabi, the lawyer for the former head of Saddam's Revolutionary Court who appeared alongside the dictator in the dock last week, was kidnapped and murdered the day after the trial opened last week.

A statement signed by Khalil al-Dulaimi, who leads Saddam's defence team, said poor security put the lawyers and their families in danger. "Due to the extreme deterioration of the security situation in Iraq, and the repercussions facing the Iraqi defence team and their families, we are stopping all dealings with the court until the situation is reversed," the statement said.

MrJanabi was kidnapped by gunmen wearing police and military uniforms who walked into his Baghdad office last Thursday. Hours later, his body was found near a Baghdad mosque.

Saddam's Jordan-based legal support team also said it would seek United Nations protection for the Iraqi lawyers because they do not trust either the US military or the Iraqi government to ensure their safety.

The trial has been adjourned until 28 November. Saddam and seven others are charged with crimes against humanity over the deaths of 148 men after a 1982 assassination attempt against the deposed dictator in the village of Dujail.

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