US soldier sentenced for Iraq death

A US army sergeant, accused of forcing two Iraqis into the Tigris river resulting in the death of one, has been sentenced to six months in prison.

    Two Iraqis were forced off a bridge into the Tigris river

    A military court cleared Sergeant 1st Class Tracy Perkins of involuntary manslaughter but found him guilty on charges of assault and obstruction of justice.

    The military court also sentenced Perkins to a one-grade reduction in rank to staff sergeant. Perkins faced a possible punishment of up to eleven-and-a-half years in prison and a dishonourable discharge from the army.

    Perkins was accused of killing Zaidun Hassun, by having soldiers force him and Hassun's cousin off a bridge across the Tigris river in Iraqi in January 2004.

    Sordid episode

    Marwan Fadil, who was forced off the bridge along with his Hassun, testified that the soldiers tossed the two at gunpoint into the water after they begged for mercy and then laughed as Hassun drowned.

    In a voice choked with emotion, Perkins apologised to army officials and his fellow enlisted personnel for the incident.

    "I recognise what we did was wrong, and I will accept the punishment given," he told the military court.

    Another soldier, 1st Lieutenant Jack Saville, will face a court marital in March for his role in the incident.

    Several soldiers in the Perkins trial said Saville gave the direct order to throw the two Iraqis into the Tigris.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    From Cameroon to US-Mexico border: 'We saw corpses along the way'

    'We saw corpses along the way'

    Kombo Yannick is one of the many African asylum seekers braving the longer Latin America route to the US.