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Hussein co-defendant's lawyer killed

Attorney was abducted from his office

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- The attorney for one of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's co-defendants was found shot in the head hours after he was abducted by gunmen, police said Friday.

Sadoon Janabi was working in his office in Baghdad when five gunmen stormed in and abducted him, according to police.

Officers said his body was found between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Thursday near Firdous Mosque in the Banook neighborhood of northern Baghdad, but it was not officially identified until Friday morning. (Watch lawyer in Saddam trial found dead -- 1:52)

He was shot once, police said.

Janabi had been representing Awad Hamad Bandar, the former chief judge of Hussein's Revolutionary Court. (Full story)

Bandar is accused of having sentenced to death more than 140 residents of Dujail following a failed assassination attempt on Hussein in 1982.

He was seated next to the ousted Iraqi leader on Wednesday during the first day of the trial.

Bandar and Hussein are among eight former regime members being tried on charges related to the Dujail killings.

Kamal Allaw, head of the Iraqi Lawyers Union, said authorities must protect all lawyers, but said "there is no security provided to the lawyers involved in Saddam's trial nor to any of the union's members."

"We are sorry to hear the tragic news of abducting then killing (of) our colleague Sadoon Janabi. His mission was simply defending his client (in) the court of law."

Allaw said that "as lawyers, our message is all about law and justice."

Badee' Arrif, an attorney representing former Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and two other defendants in another case before the Iraqi Special Tribunal, said the kidnapping would not deter him.

"I will continue to defend my clients to the end, no matter what," he told CNN.

However, the killing of the lawyer could delay the trial of Hussein and his seven co-defendants even further, CNN's Aneesh Raman reported on Friday.

The trial of Hussein, Bandar and the six other co-defendants has been adjourned until November 28. (Full story)

The case is the first against Hussein, who is expected to be charged with crimes against humanity and genocide for acts committed during his almost three-decade rule over Iraq.

Janabi was one of the few lawyers to address the court at Wednesday's hearing. He said the defense had had insufficient time to study the evidence and accused the U.S.-backed Baghdad government of driving the process, Reuters reported.

Votes counted

Iraqi authorities have counted the ballots from last weekend's constitutional referendum and plan to announce the results on Sunday or Monday, according to an election official.

Safwat Rashid Sidai, a member of the Independent Electoral Commission of Iraq, said the results would be released once election workers wrap up verification procedures in the polling.

Two teams of officials and international experts were double-checking the ballot boxes in six of the country's 18 provinces that had unusually lopsided results.

One team examined ballot boxes in Irbil, Babil and Basra and found no irregularities.

Another team has been sent to locales in the provinces of Tameem, Nineveh and Diyala in the north. The commission said no problems have been found in Baghdad.

Other developments

  • Four U.S. troops -- three Marines and a soldier -- were killed in combat in Anbar province, the military announced on Friday. The Marines were killed by a roadside bomb in Nasser Wa Salaam and the soldier died from wounds suffered in Hit. The deaths bring the number of U.S. troops killed in the war to 1,989.
  • Arab League Secretary General Amre Moussa is in Baghdad to meet with government officials. He arrived on Thursday for a three-day visit, according to Iraq's Foreign Ministry.
  • A correspondent for London's Guardian newspaper was freed Thursday, one day after he was kidnapped in Iraq, according to officials from the British Foreign Office in Iraq. Rory Carroll, 33, spoke to his family, and told them he is safe and well, the officials said.
  • A mortar round landed inside an elementary school Thursday morning in the Mansur district of Baghdad, killing a student and two adults. The attack wounded five other students.
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq and Enes Dulami contributed to this report.

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