[JURIST] Khalil Dulaimi [JURIST news archive], chief defense lawyer for deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive], said Sunday he had been notified by "the Americans" that defense lawyers for Hussein and his co-defendants would not be allowed access to their clients. This is the first time that lawyers have been denied access to Saddam since he was granted the right to counsel in December 2004. The development comes after Hussein, four co-defendants and defense lawyers boycotted trial proceedings [JURIST report] before the Iraqi High Criminal Court - formerly the Iraqi Special Tribunal [official website] - in protest against new chief judge Ra'uf Rasheed Abdel-Rahman [BBC profile, JURIST report], who was named chief judge after Rizgar Mohammed Amin resigned [JURIST report] last month. Dulaimi claimed that the court has "already passed a sentence even before the trial has ended." The trial has been adjourned [JURIST news archive] until February 13 but Dulaimi stated, "We will hold on to the decision to boycott the trial and not to participate in any future sessions until our reasonable demands for a fair, honest, and transparent trial that brings out the truth are met." Read the Saddam defense team's press release. Reuters has more.