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Ex-Iraqi judge who challenged debaathification killed in ambush

[JURIST] Gunmen ambushed and killed a former Iraqi judge on Thursday in western Baghdad, also wounding his son and driver, according to Iraqi police. Saleh Hassan Yass al-Awsi, a Sunni, was among those removed from office by the Iraqi government's Debaathification Commission [official website, in Arabic] and was a strong voice in the push to petition Iraq's new parliament to reinstate judges who were purged. The Commission, set up with the approval of the US-run Coalition Provisional Authority [official website] after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] in 2003, is charged with rooting out members of Hussein's Baath party [JURIST news archive] from positions of power in the Iraqi government.

Before the US occupation, Al-Awsi was a civil court judge under Hussein. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said last month that as part of a new national reconciliation plan [JURIST report] he would consider liberalizing debaathification procedures to satisfy Sunnis and former Baathists. Reuters has more.

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