Blackwater probed over Iraq corruption


The US Justice Department is investigating whether officials of security firm Blackwater Worldwide tried to bribe Iraqi government officials in hopes of retaining the firm’s work in Iraq. Citing unnamed current and former government officials, the New York Times said that the department’s fraud section opened the inquiry late last year to determine whether Blackwater employees violated a federal law banning US corporations from paying bribes to foreign officials.The inquiry is the latest fallout from the 2007 shooting in Nisour Square in Baghdad, which involved Backwater security guards and left 17 Iraqis dead, the report said. A federal judge in December dismissed criminal charges against five former Blackwater guards implicated in the episode, but Vice President Joseph Biden recently announced that the administration of President Barack Obama would appeal that decision.