A judge in Iraq who was part of the tribunal trying former dictator Saddam Hussein has been assassinated.

According to NBC News, initial reports that Presiding Judge Raid Juhi, 35, was gunned down were incorrect. The actual victim, an investigative judge and one of dozens of judges working on the case, has not been identified.

Saddam was captured in December 2003 and appeared at a preliminary hearing in July. He and 11 top lieutenants have been held for months in an undisclosed location. The ex-dictator is being tried for war crimes and genocide.

A lawyer for Saddam today condemned plans to try the former Iraqi leader by a U.S.-funded special court, saying it is illegitimate. He also claimed that he and other members of his defense team have been denied access to the former Iraqi leader.

Ziad al-Khasawneh, who heads Saddam’s defense team, spoke to reporters in Tokyo, where he is trying to raise support, AP reported.

“Whatever is built on illegality is illegal. Everything after the occupation – the temporary government, the elections – are illegitimate,” he said.

Related story:

Ramsey Clark to defend Saddam

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.