FILE - In this March 26, 2010 file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's first major trial dealing with the country’s savage Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings is tainted by politics, critics say _ an ominous sign for those hoping for justice for tens of thousands of victims of street executions, bombings and kidnappings. The defendant, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, says charges that he ran Sunni death squads are part of a political vendetta by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. Al-Hashemi's nine-member legal team walked out in protest in the second court session late last month, citing judicial bias. And the prosecution's case relies heavily on the testimony of co-defendants, that the defense claimed was coerced, pointing to one who died in custody.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)

Associated Press
FILE - In this March 26, 2010 file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's first major trial dealing with the country’s savage Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings is tainted by politics, critics say _ an ominous sign for those hoping for justice for tens of thousands of victims of street executions, bombings and kidnappings. The defendant, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, says charges that he ran Sunni death squads are part of a political vendetta by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. Al-Hashemi's nine-member legal team walked out in protest in the second court session late last month, citing judicial bias. And the prosecution's case relies heavily on the testimony of co-defendants, that the defense claimed was coerced, pointing to one who died in custody.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
FILE - In this March 26, 2010 file photo, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki speaks to the press in Baghdad, Iraq. Iraq's first major trial dealing with the country’s savage Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings is tainted by politics, critics say _ an ominous sign for those hoping for justice for tens of thousands of victims of street executions, bombings and kidnappings. The defendant, Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, says charges that he ran Sunni death squads are part of a political vendetta by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite. Al-Hashemi's nine-member legal team walked out in protest in the second court session late last month, citing judicial bias. And the prosecution's case relies heavily on the testimony of co-defendants, that the defense claimed was coerced, pointing to one who died in custody.(AP Photo/Hadi Mizban, File)
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