Iraq to take Blackwater to court

5/1/10

Iraq will file lawsuits in US and Iraqi courts against Blackwater, a private security firm, after an American court threw out charges against five of its guards accused of killing 14 civilians in Baghdad. Making the announcement, Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq’s prime minister, in a statement on Monday said his government “rejects the ruling issued by the American court acquitting the company of the crime of killing a number of citizens”. Last week, a US federal judge threw out the murder charges against the guards, saying prosecutors violated the defendants’ rights by using incriminating statements they had made under immunity during a US State Department probe. The guards, who had been part of a convoy of armoured vehicles, had been charged with killing 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians and wounding 18 others in September 2007 at a busy Baghdad roundabout using guns and grenades.

See: http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2010/01/20101418213492457.html; Brown criticises Afghan war protest; 5/1/10; http://english.aljazeera.net/news/europe/2010/01/201014164053541813.html; US judge weighs misconduct finding for Blackwater prosecutors accused of withholding evidence; 5/1/10; http://www.arabnews.com/?page=4&section=0&article=130710&d=5&m=1&y=2010