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Saddam lawyer claims she was tossed from courtroom because she is Shiite

[JURIST] Bushra Khalil, a defense lawyer for Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], said Monday that she believes Judge Raouf Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile], the Kurdish judge presiding over Hussein's trial [JURIST news archive], is harsher on her than other lawyers because she is a Shiite. Khalil was thrown out of court [JURIST report] for the second time Monday after being added to Hussein's defense team [JURIST report] as the only female lawyer in late March. Khalil was previously removed from a court session [JURIST report] in April when she showed pictures depicting the alleged abuse of Iraqi detainees at the hands of US soldiers.

While many have speculated that Rahman seems harsher on Khalil because she is a woman, she asserts that it is because she is from a well-known Shiite family and is defending a man against charges that he killed and tortured Shiite villagers in Dujail. Khalil said Monday that she believes that Hussein ordered the deaths in Dujail [JURIST report] because of an assassination attempt on his life, and not as an attack on Shiites in general. AP has more.

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