[JURIST] Saddam Hussein [JURIST news archive] and three co-defendants have entered their tenth day of a hunger strike [JURIST report] protesting the lack of security for defense lawyers in their trial, US military spokesman Lt. Col. Keir-Kevin Curry said Monday. Hussein began the hunger strike in protest of trial court procedures and the killings of three defense lawyers, which the defendants believe occurred because of inadequate security provided by US forces. Curry said that all four defendants "are in good health and receiving appropriate medical care," noting that Hussein has been drinking coffee with sugar and water with nutrients.
Armed gunmen abducted and killed Hussein defense lawyer Khamis al-Obeidi [JURIST report] last month, just two days after the prosecution presented its closing arguments in the trial, calling for the death penalty [JURIST report] for Hussein and four of his co-defendants. Hussein went on a brief hunger strike [JURIST report] shortly afterwards. He and his seven co-defendants face crimes against humanity charges [JURIST report] of killing, torturing and illegally detaining Dujail residents, as well as committing other inhumane acts in response to an alleged 1982 assassination attempt on Hussein. The trial currently stands adjourned [JURIST report] until July 24 in hopes that lead defense lawyer Khalil al-Dulaimi and his colleagues will end their latest boycott [JURIST report] of the proceedings, based in part on the same security concerns. AP has more.