A judge and a lawyer with the special tribunal that will try Saddam Hussein and former members of his government were shot and killed Tuesday by gunmen outside their home here, Iraqi officials said.
It was the first time a member of the tribunal is known to have been assassinated, though a number of criminal and civil judges have been killed here in recent months.
Also on Tuesday, a senior Iraqi official said a half brother of Saddam Hussein who was arrested recently had been captured by Iraqi and allied forces, not by Syria, as Iraqi officials had said over the weekend.
The judge, Parwiz Muhammad Mahmoud al-Merani, 59, was killed a day after the Iraqi special tribunal announced the first charges in the approaching trials of former senior officials in Mr. Hussein’s government. His son, Aryan Mahmoud al-Merani, 26, who also worked at the tribunal as a lawyer, was killed with him, according to officials at Iraq’s Interior Ministry.
Three men drove up and fired automatic weapons at the two men around 9 a.m. as they stood outside their family home in Adhamiya, a largely Sunni Arab neighborhood that has been a center of insurgent activity. Witnesses saw the attackers speeding away in a green Opel sedan without license plates, the officials said.
The 400 or so tribunal members, including about 100 judges and lawyers, have been provided with security guards, and their names have largely been kept secret to forestall assassination attempts. On Monday, as the first charges were announced, a Western legal expert involved in the trial process said that those working on the tribunal were exposed to dangers and that there had been “some incidents,” but he declined to provide details.
On Tuesday evening, seven Iraqi police officers were killed in four separate incidents in and around Baghdad, police and hospital officials said. The attacks began when a police lieutenant was killed by gunmen outside his home in the southern Baghdad neighborhood of Doura, Interior Ministry officials said.