By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press
BAGHDAD, Iraq - One of Saddam Hussein's main lawyers was shot to death Wednesday after he was abducted from his Baghdad home by men wearing police uniforms, the third killing of a member of the former leader's defense team since the trial started some eight months ago.
Khamis al-Obeidi, an Iraqi who represented Saddam and his half brother Barzan Ibrahim in their trial, was abducted from his house Wednesday morning, said Saddam's top lawyer, Khalil al-Dulaimi. His body was found on a street near the Shiite slum of Sadr City, police Lt. Thaer Mahmoud said.
Chief prosecutor Jaafar al-Moussawi confirmed that al-Obeidi had been killed, although he did not provide any details. A photo of al-Obeidi provided by police showed his face, head and shoulders drenched in his own blood.
A parked car bomb also exploded near an ice cream shop in the Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City on Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding eight, police Capt. Sattar Jabar said. It was the second attack in as many days in the sprawling Shiite district in eastern Baghdad.
The violence came a day after the U.S. military recovered the bodies of two missing soldiers from an area south of Baghdad that it said was rigged with explosives. A senior Iraqi defense official, Maj. Gen. Abdul-Aziz Mohammed, said the bodies showed signs of having been tortured.
The Mujahedeen Shura Council, an umbrella organization of five insurgent groups, claimed the new leader of al-Qaida in
Iraq executed the men personally, but it offered no evidence. The U.S. military did not confirm whether the soldiers died from wounds suffered in an attack Friday or were kidnapped and later killed.
Al-Obeidi, who was in his 50s and had six children, was the third member of Saddam's defense team to be killed since the former leader's trial began on Oct. 19.
A dozen masked gunmen abducted defense lawyer Saadoun al-Janabi from his Baghdad office the day after the trial's opening session. His body was found the next day with two bullets in his skull. Nearly three weeks later, defense lawyer Adel al-Zubeidi was assassinated in a brazen daylight ambush in Baghdad. A colleague who was wounded fled the country.
"The aim of this act is to terrify the lawyers and hinder the work of the defense team," al-Dulaimi said.
i can see the job posting now...
wanted Baghdad law school graduate: summer internship for aspiring lawyers looking for experience in war crimes and genocide. assist the coalition of the willing and President Bush bring justice to Iraq. must provide own flak jacket and bodyguard. salary negotiable up to $5/day....
what a clusterfuck...