BAGHDAD, May 20 (Xinhua) -- The defense team of Iraq's fugitive Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi on Sunday walked out of his terror trial protesting the court's procedures.
"We decided to walk out of the court room because the Apeals Court did not yet review our earlier request," Muayad al-Izzi, head of Hashimi's attorney team, told reporters.
The defense team demanded to postpone the court's hearing session until they get answer from the Appeals Court for their earlier request that Hashmi's trial must not be in the Criminal Court and that the cases must be heard by the Federal Court.
As the three-judge panel of the criminal court refused their demand to postpone the session, the lawyers walked out and the court immediately appointed two lawyers to replace them.
For his part, Jamal Gailani, a leading figure in Hashimi's Tajdid Movement which is part of the Sunni-backed Iraqia bloc, said that "the lawyers withdrew because they do not want to be part of such unfair procedures by the court."
Hashimi and his son-in-law are accused of ordering their bodyguards to kill security members and government officials, but Hashimi denied the accusations.
However, the court continued hearing to plaintiffs and witnesses over crimes of assassinating a director general in the national security ministry, an officer in the interior ministry and a lawyer.
In the afternoon, the Chief Judge of the court ordered to adjourn the trial until May 31.
On May 15, the court opened the first hearing session to prosecute Hashimi in absentia, his captured bodyguards and officials, and started hearing to plaintiffs and witnesses over crimes of assassinating a director general in the national security ministry, an officer in the interior ministry and a lawyer.
Hashimi is facing more than 150 charges, which had been filed against him, while 73 of his guards are facing more than 300 charges.
Earlier, the spokesman of the Supreme Judicial Council Abdul- Sattar al-Birqdar told reporters that "there are many crimes that Hashimi and his bodyguards are accused of and we have confessions from them, including the assassination of six judges."
On Dec. 19, 2011, an Iraqi arrest warrant was issued against Hashimi on charges of running death squad.
The Interpol issued Tuesday an international memorandum called "red notice" against Hashimi over alleged terrorist acts.
"At the request of Iraqi authorities, Interpol has published a Red Notice for Iraq's Vice-President, Tariq al-Hashimi, on suspicion of guiding and financing terrorist attacks in the country," the international police agency said in a statement on its website, stressing that the red notice is not an international arrest warrant.
Last month, Hashimi left Iraq's northern Kurdish region on a tour to Qatar, Saudi Arabia and now Turkey.
The day after he left Iraq, Baghdad demanded extradition for Hashimi, but Qatar refused the request, saying there is no court verdict against Hashimi and that he still holds official title and (diplomatic) immunity.
Soon after U.S. troops fully withdrew from Iraq late last year, Iraq plunged into serious political row as Prime Minister Nuri al- Maliki sought to arrest his political rival Hashimi, a leading member of the Sunni-backed political bloc of Iraqia, over terror charges.
Hashimi, who resorted to the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, rejected the accusations against him, saying that the charges are false and motivated by politically enmity of the Shiite-dominated government in Baghdad.