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Iraq court postpones trial of VP

Baghdad's Criminal Court has postponed [AP report] the trial of Iraq's fugitive Sunni vice president Tariq al-Hashimi until a federal court rules in a pending case on whether the president and other lawmakers can be questioned by the defense as witnesses, according to a lawyer for al-Hashimi. The trial began [Reuters report] in May without the presence of al-Hasimi. He is being charged with inciting violence in the country, including allegedly organizing death squads.

Al-Hashimi is currently residing in Turkey, after having refused [JURIST report] in December to return to Iraq to stand trial because he believed the court would be biased against him. He also denied all charges [Al Jazeera video] against him, claiming they are politically motivated. Violence arose in December when protesters hit the streets [Al Arabiya report] in support of al-Hasimi just days after US troops left the country to signal the end of the nine-year Iraq War [JURIST feature].

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