ISTANBUL (AP) -- Iraq's fugitive Sunni vice president says a terror trial pending against him in Baghdad amounts to a "preemptive attack" on a chief political rival by the Shiite prime minister.
Tariq al-Hashemi alleges Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki may have engineered the trial because he is mindful of Syria's uprising and wants to stifle political opposition in Iraq in case he is threatened by a similar uprising.
Al-Hashemi, who has been accused of bombings and assassinations, spoke to The Associated Press on Friday in an Istanbul hotel.
His trial was postponed Thursday as his lawyers appealed to have parliament create a special court to hear the case that could deepen Iraq's sectarian divide.
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