FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Murder of Defense Lawyer Puts Saddam’s Trial at Risks

in Baghdad

Gunmen have killed the lawyer of one of the co-defendants of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad after abducting him from his office.

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 1,993.

PATRICK COCKBURN was awarded the 2005 Martha Gellhorn prize for war reporting in recognition of his writing on Iraq over the past year. His new memoir, The Broken Boy, has just been published in the UK by Jonathan Cape.

 

 

More articles by:

Patrick Cockburn is the author of  The Rise of Islamic State: ISIS and the New Sunni Revolution.

July 16, 2018
Sheldon Richman
Trump Turns to Gaza as Middle East Deal of the Century Collapses
Charles Pierson
Kirstjen Nielsen Just Wants to Protect You
Brett Wilkins
The Lydda Death March and the Israeli State of Denial
Patrick Cockburn
Trump Knows That the US Can Exercise More Power in a UK Weakened by Brexit
Robert Fisk
The Fisherman of Sarajevo Told Tales Past Wars and Wars to Come
Gary Leupp
When Did Russia Become an Adversary?
Uri Avnery
“Not Enough!”
Dave Lindorff
Undermining Trump-Putin Summit Means Promoting War
Manuel E. Yepe
World Trade War Has Begun
Binoy Kampmark
Trump Stomps Britain
Wim Laven
The Best Deals are the Deals that Develop Peace
Kary Love
Can We Learn from Heinrich Himmler’s Daughter? Should We?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Franklin Lamb, Requiescat in Pace
Weekend Edition
July 13, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Brian Cloughley
Lessons That Should Have Been Learned From NATO’s Destruction of Libya
Paul Street
Time to Stop Playing “Simon Says” with James Madison and Alexander Hamilton
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: In the Land of Formula and Honey
Aidan O'Brien
Ireland’s Intellectuals Bow to the Queen of Chaos 
Michael Collins
The Affirmative Action Silo
Andrew Levine
Tipping Points
Geoff Dutton
Fair and Balanced Opinion at the New York Times
Ajamu Baraka
Cultural and Ideological Struggle in the US: a Final Comment on Ocasio-Cortez
David Rosen
The New McCarthyism: Is the Electric Chair Next for the Left?
Ken Levy
The McConnell Rule: Nasty, Brutish, and Unconstitutional
George Wuerthner
The Awful Truth About the Hammonds
Robert Fisk
Will Those Killed by NATO 19 Years Ago in Serbia Ever Get Justice?
Robert Hunziker
Three Climatic Monsters with Asteroid Impact
Ramzy Baroud
Europe’s Iron Curtain: The Refugee Crisis is about to Worsen
Nick Pemberton
A Letter For Scarlett JoManDaughter
Marilyn Garson
Netanyahu’s War on Transcendence 
Patrick Cockburn
Is ISIS About to Lose Its Last Stronghold in Syria?
Joseph Grosso
The Invisible Class: Workers in America
Kim Ives
Haiti’s Popular Uprising Calls for President Jovenel Moïse’s Removal
John Carroll Md
Dispatch From Haiti: Trump and Breastfeeding
Alycee Lane
On Heat Waves and Climate Resistance
Ed Meek
Dershowitz the Sophist
Howard Lisnoff
Liberal Massachusetts and Recreational Marijuana
Ike Nahem
Trump, Trade Wars, and the Class Struggle
Olivia Alperstein
Kavanaugh and the Supremes: It’s About Much More Than Abortion
Manuel E. Yepe
Korea After the Handshake
Robert Kosuth
Militarized Nationalism: Pernicious and Pervasive
Binoy Kampmark
Soft Brexits and Hard Realities: The Tory Revolt
Helena Norberg-Hodge
Localization: a Strategic Alternative to Globalized Authoritarianism
Kevin Zeese - Nils McCune
Correcting The Record: What Is Really Happening In Nicaragua?
Chris Wright
The American Oligarchy: A Review
Kweli Nzito
Imperial Gangster Nations: Peddling “Democracy” and Other Goodies to the Untutored
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail