Defense Boosted in Trial of Iraqi Gunman in Deadly anti-UN Attack
Seven more lawyers came forward on Monday to defend an Iraqi gunman on trial for a deadly attack on Baghdad offices of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), delaying a verdict until January 22.
The court, which was due to give its ruling on January 8, accepted a request from the enlarged defense team for extra time to study the case, said Jaafar al-Rashidi, one of the original two lawyers.
Their client Fuad Hussein Haidar, against whom the prosecution has called for the death sentence, told reporters at the end of the hearing that the ruling was not important.
"It doesn't matter what will be decided ... the essential thing is to hear the voice of the (Iraqi) people who are the victims of an injustice and a blockade that has lasted 10 years," he said.
Haidar, a 38-year-old car mechanic, burst into the FAO offices with a Kalashnikov rifle on June 28 and shot dead two UN employees, the Somali deputy head of the FAO's Baghdad office, Yusuf Abdullah, and an Iraqi computer expert.
Seven others were wounded.
After surrendering to Iraqi authorities, Haidar said he wanted to draw attention to the "genocide of thousands of Iraqis" under the UN embargo, which has been in force since Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.
His trial opened on November 6 -- BAGHDAD (AFP)
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