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UN rights official calls for investigation into Saddam lawyer killings

[JURIST] A UN human rights official has called for an investigation into the killings of two defense lawyers representing co-defendants of former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive]. The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions [official website] Philip Alston [NYU Law profile] said an independent investigation was needed because the murders had major implications for the Saddam Hussein trial [JURIST news archive] and for establishing the rule of law in Iraq. Alston also said reports that the Iraqi Interior Ministry was involved in the killings should also be investigated. Most recently, lawyer Adil al-Zubeidi was killed [JURIST report] on Nov. 8 in a drive-by shooting that also injured another defense lawyer, who later fled the country [JURIST report]. Another defense lawyer, Saadoun al-Janabi, was killed [JURIST report] on Oct. 20, a day after the trial began. Defense lawyers for Saddam and other co-defendants from his regime have announced a boycott of the court over the security concerns. Reuters has more.

Previously in JURIST's Paper Chase...

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