Lawyers for Saddam Hussein and his six co-defendants announced yesterday that they would boycott their trial unless the court was moved to another country for their own safety.
Their decision followed the kidnapping and murder last week of Saadoun al-Janabi, the lawyer of Awad Hamed al-Bandar, the former head of Saddam’s revolutionary court.
Al-Janabi was abducted less than 36 hours after the opening of the trial on Wednesday and was shot twice in the head.
Last night the defence lawyers issued a statement demanding a full investigation into the killing. “We also announce to the world our decision to boycott the court and now that it is evident to all that there is no security here, we demand that the trials be moved abroad.”
Majid al-Saadoun, defending Taha Yassin Ramadan, the former vice-president, said American officials had been notified of the boycott. “We cannot sacrifice ourselves and our families,” he said.