Reduced charges for Haditha marine

No murder charges in entire Iraq civilian deaths case if recommendation accepted.

    Wuterich said he made the best decision based
    on the situation and information he had [Reuters]

    If the proposal is accepted by Lieutenant-General James Mattis, the commanding officer overseeing the case, no one will face murder charges in the Haditha case.

     

    'Best decision'

     

    "This is a major blow to the prosecution. Negligent homicide is at the lowest end of the spectrum"

    Tom Umberg, 
    former military prosecutor

    Ware's non-binding recommendation comes after a preliminary hearing where evidence against Wuterich was reviewed.

     

    Wuterich, 27, has expressed regret over the deaths but maintained that he operated within combat rules and "made the best decisions I could have at the time".

     

    At the preliminary hearing, the squad leader said "engaging was the only choice".

     

    Puckett, his lawyer, said they were "very pleased and also not surprised given how the other cases have gone".

     

    "There has never been any inkling that any of these marines lost control or went on a rampage," he added.

     

    Reduced charges

     

    Negligent homicide carries a maximum sentence of three years while for murder it life imprisonment.

     

    Puckett said Ware also recommended dropping charges against Wuterich of making a false official statement and telling a squad member to do the same.

     

    The Haditha slayings occurred on November 19, 2005, after a roadside bomb hit a marine convoy, killing a soldier and wounding two others.

     

    Although prosecutors have not won any convictions, three senior officers have been censured - an administrative punishment that could affect their career advancement and retirement benefits – for failing to investigate the killings.

     

    Commenting on the recommendation, Tom Umberg, a retired army colonel and former military prosecutor, said Ware could have proposed manslaughter charges instead.

     

    "This is a major blow to the prosecution," he said. "Negligent homicide is at the lowest end of the spectrum."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    Learn what India's parties' symbols mean by drawing them

    More than 2,300 political parties have registered for the largest electoral exercise in the world.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    Why did Bush go to war in Iraq?

    No, it wasn't because of WMDs, democracy or Iraqi oil. The real reason is much more sinister than that.