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Saddam trial judge's relatives killed, wounded in Baghdad attack

[JURIST] A brother-in-law of the new chief judge in the Saddam Hussein genocide trial [JURIST news archive] was shot and killed Friday in Baghdad. His nephew was seriously wounded in the same attack. Police were not certain whether the attack was a result of Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa's position on the Iraqi High Tribunal, but sources familiar with court procedure believe an appeals panel will now consider whether the judge may be prejudiced against the defendants in light of the shootings. The previous chief judge, Abdullah al-Amiri, was replaced after he said in court that Hussein was not a dictator [JURIST reports].

In the past year, three lawyers representing Hussein and his seven co-defendants have been killed [JURIST report], and international observers have questioned whether the defendants will receive a fair trial amid the violence. The genocide trial, Hussein's second, has been adjourned until October 9 [JURIST report] to give the defendants time to instruct court-appointed counsel or to persuade their own lawyers to end their boycott of the proceedings [JURIST report] begun in response to the new judge's appointment. AP has more.

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