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Fugitive Iraqi Vice President Says He Has No Faith In Justice System

Iraq's fugitive Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi speaks during a press conference in Istanbul on May 4.
Iraq's fugitive vice president, who is accused of running a death squad, said that he has no faith in the Iraqi justice system and fears for his life.

Tariq al-Hashimi, who escaped to Turkey, is being tried in absentia on charges he and his bodyguards killed several Iraqi judges and officials.

Authorities issued an arrest warrant for Hashimi, a leading Sunni official, in December, but he has since fled the country.

Hashimi's trial began on May 3 but was delayed until May 10.

His lawyers, who fear the trial may become politicized, want it to be heard by a special court and not by the Central Criminal Court of Iraq.

The charge against Hashimi has sparked a political crisis in Iraq as the vice president's Sunni bloc has boycotted parliament over accusations Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, is monopolizing power.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP