Terror trial against Iraqi vice president resumes

Aug 14, 2012, 10:29 AM EDT
In this Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 file photo, Iraq's Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi speaks during an interview with the Associated Press near Sulaimaniyah, 160 miles (260 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, Iraq. An Iraqi appeals court has rejected a request to have President Jalal Talabani testify in the terror trial against the nation's Sunni vice president.
(AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

BAGHDAD (AP) — A neighbor of Iraq's fugitive vice president has claimed he transported bombs at the request of the official's son during testimony in a politically charged terrorism trial against the politician.

Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi, one of Iraq's senior Sunni Muslim politicians, is charged with running death squads against Shiites. In Tuesday's court session, the neighbor said he carried explosives but did not take part in attacks.

Four of al-Hashemi's bodyguards also faced questions about their roles in alleged attacks between 2006 and 2011.

Al-Hashemi denies wrongdoing. He considers the charges a politically motivated attack by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. Critics accuse the Shiite prime minister of sidelining his opponents to consolidate power.

Al-Hashemi fled the country and refuses to return for the trial. It is scheduled to resume Sept 9.