[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and his seven co-defendants ended a brief hunger strike late Thursday after Hussein missed only one meal. Hussein began the hunger strike [JURIST report] in protest of the murder [JURIST report] of one of his defense lawyers early Wednesday morning and to highlight the need for additional security. At the outset of the hunger strike, leading defense counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi said the defendants would end their strike when additional security is provided to the defense team. Hussein threatened to boycott the trial[JURIST report] last year if additional security demands were not met by his Iraqi and US captors.
Armed gunmen abducted and killed Hussein defense lawyer Khamis al-Obeidi Wednesday, just two days after the prosecution presented their closing arguments in the trial, calling for the death penalty [JURIST report] for Hussein and four of his co-defendants. The defense is currently scheduled to present its closing arguments on July 10. He and his seven co-defendants face crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] for killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents and for committing other inhumane acts in response to an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein's life. Reuters has more.