[QODLink]
Middle East
Trial of Iraqi vice-president postponed
Murder trial of Tariq al-Hashemi, accused along with several of his bodygaurds of "terrorism", adjourned until May 10.
Last Modified: 03 May 2012 13:27
Hashemi, who is in the Turkish city of Istanbul, is not expected to attend the trial.

The trial of Tariq Al-Hashemi, Iraqi vice-president charged with several counts of murder, has been adjourned till May 10.

Hashemi, who remains in the Turkish city of Istanbul, is not expected to attend the trial, initially scheduled to begin on Thursday.

The Sunni Muslim politician fled Baghdad in December when the Shia-led central government issued an arrest warrant for him and some of his bodyguards on "terrorism" charges.

He was accused murdering six judges and a series of other killings, charges that he dismissed as politically motivated.

Hashemi initially escaped to the autonomous Kurdish region in the north, where the authorities refused to hand him over.

They then allowed him to leave on a tour of the region that has taken Hashemi to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey.

Earlier this month, Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, judiciary council spokesman, said in a statement: "There are many crimes that Hashemi and his guards are accused of and there were confessions obtained, including on the assassinations of six judges, mostly from Baghdad".

The statement said that 13 of Hashemi's bodyguards had been released for lack of evidence and another 73 remained in custody.

The delicately balanced ruling coalition in Iraq of Shia, Sunnis and Kurds began to crack in December after US troops left and the government tried to remove Saleh al-Mutlaq, a Sunni deputy Prime minister, and made the accusations against Hashemi.

The central government and the Kurdish region have long-running disputes over political autonomy, oil rights and contested territories.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
UNHCR says hundreds of people trapped in Yaloke town risk death if they are not evacuated to safety urgently.
'Justice for All' demonstrations swell across the US over the deaths of African Americans in police encounters.
Six former Guantanamo detainees are now free in Uruguay with some hailing the decision to grant them asylum.
Disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people in prison highlights inequality and marginalisation, critics say.
Featured
Long-standing dispute over Christian use of the word 'Allah' raises concerns about a very un-Merry Christmas.
The threat posed by ISIL has prompted thousands of young Kurds to join the PKK.
Baja California - with its own grim history of disappeared people - finds a voice in the fight against violence.
Russian feminist rockers fight system holding 700,000 - the world's largest per capita prison population after the US.
Weeks of growing protests against Muslims continue in Dresden with 15,000 hitting the streets last Monday.