Blackwater faces Iraq bribery probe

Security firm reportedly being investigated for bribery bid after Baghdad killings.

    Blackwater guards were accused of killing 17 Iraqi civilians at Baghdad's Nisour Square in 2007

    According to the New York Times, the justice department has obtained two documents from the state department that have raised questions about Blackwater's efforts to influence Iraqi government officials after the killings.

    'Secret payments'

    Former employees at Blackwater have claimed that the firm's top executives had authorised secret payments of about one million dollars to Iraqi officials.

    IN DEPTH

      Video: Iraq expresses dismay at US verdict
      'They kept pumping bullets into us'
      Riz Khan: US military contractors
      Inside Story: Iraq vows to fight Blackwater case

    Only a small portion of the bribes were intended to be compensation for the Nisour Square victims, the New York Times said.

    The bribery investigation has been confirmed by three current and former officials speaking on condition of anonymity, the newspaper said.

    The move comes shortly after Joe Biden, the US vice-president, announced that the US government will try to reopen dismissed criminal cases against five former Blackwater employees implicated in the Nisour Square massacre.

    The guards had been charged with killing 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians and wounding 18 others in September 2007 at the busy Baghdad roundabout using guns and grenades.

    They claimed they acted in self-defence after a convoy they were protecting came under attack, but witnesses and victims said the guards shot indiscriminately.

    In December, a US court acquitted the men, saying US justice department prosecutors improperly built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity.

    Xe pulled out of Iraq in May last year, after the US state department refused to renew its contracts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    Heron Gate mass eviction: 'We never expected this in Canada'

    Hundreds face mass eviction in Canada's capital

    About 150 homes in one of Ottawa's most diverse and affordable communities are expected to be torn down in coming months

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.