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Gunmen shoot dead Saddam-era judge in Baghdad

Written by: Staff
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BAGHDAD, July 6 (Reuters) An Iraqi former judge was killed and his son and driver wounded when gunmen ambushed his car in western Baghdad today, police said.

Saleh Hassan Yass al-Awsi was a Sunni Arab and a leading figure in an association of former judges who are lobbying Iraq's new parliament to be allowed to return to work after they were dismissed by the US occupation authority.

Awsi was a civil court judge under Saddam Hussein, a leading Sunni parliamentarian who described himself as a close friend of the jurist, told Reuters. He spoke on condition of anonymity.

Under a process known as deBaathification, judges, military officers, academics and other officials and members of Saddam's Baath party were barred from public office.

Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, hoping to calm revolt among former Baathists and other Sunni Arabs, said last month he would consider reviewing deBaathification rules.

Some leaders from Saddam's formerly dominant Sunni minority accuse pro-government Shi'ite militias of operating sectarian death squads against officials of Saddam's administration.

REUTERS SB ND1518

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