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Lawyers For Fugitive Iraqi VP Resign In Protest

Iraqi Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi was last known to be in Turkey
Lawyers for Iraq's fugitive Sunni vice president, Tariq al-Hashemi, who is facing charges related to alleged death squads, have quit the case in protest over not being allowed to present their evidence.

Judges on May 20 refused to let Hashemi's defense team pull phone records and appointment calendars to refute earlier testimony that the vice president and his son-in-law had ordered bodyguards to kill security forces and government officials.

The vice president, last known to be in Turkey, is the subject of an Interpol red notice calling for his arrest but says he fears for his life in Baghdad.

He is being tried in absentia on charges he says are politically motivated.

The Central Criminal Court of Iraq, which held the fourth hearing on the case, responded by appointing two new lawyers to replace those who withdrew.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP