21/02/2012 12:03 BAGHDAD, Feb. 21 (AKnews) - The Independent Supreme Judiciary Council of Iraq has set May 3 for the first trail session of Iraqi Vice President Tareq Hashemi, who is accused of terrorism charges.

Council spokesman Abdul-Sattar Beiraqdar said the Central Criminal Court will investigate the case of Hashemi and his secretary and son-in-law Ahmed Qahtan.

It will be a public trial and will be held in the absence of Hashemi and Qahtan if need be.

"Airing it on TVs [will be] difficult," said Beiraqdar.

The date is set and cannot be deferred, according to the official.

According to the council Hashemi is involved in more than 150 terrorism operations, including bombings and assassinations. Hashemi denies the charges and believes Prime Minister Maliki is behind the accusations.

The VP and his office personnel are now under the protection of Iraqi Kurdistan regional officials.

By Raman Brusk