[JURIST] Saddam Hussein and his seven co-defendants have begun a hunger strike to protest the abduction and murder of a defense team lawyer [JURIST report] in Baghdad early Wednesday morning. Leading defense counsel Khalil al-Dulaimi said the defendants would end their strike when additional security is provided to the defense team. Saddam threatened to boycott the trial [JURIST report] last year if additional security demands were not met by his Iraqi and US captors. Khamis al-Obeide is the third defense team lawyer murdered [JURIST report] since the trial started.
The defense is currently scheduled to present its closing arguments on July 10. On Monday, the prosecution closed their case with a demand that Saddam and four co-defendants receive the death penalty [JURIST report]. He and his seven co-defendants face crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] for killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents and for commiting other inhumane acts in response to an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein's life. AP has more.