Wounded Saddam defence lawyer flees Iraq

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The move is another blow to the troubled case.

Thamir al-Khuzaie was injured in the 8 November ambush in western Baghdad in which another defence lawyer, Adel al-Zubeidi, was killed.

Al-Zubeidi was the second defence lawyer involved in the case to be assassinated since the trial opened on October 19.

"I was only a lawyer who practiced his profession in Iraq. Yet I was subjected to an assassination attempt and to danger that might have even touched my family," al-Khuzaie said. "So I decided to leave the country."

He said that he had written to the ruler of Qatar asking for "humanitarian asylum" for him and his family.

Al-Khuzaie represented two of Saddam's seven co-defendants in the trial, which resumes on 28 November.