Blackwater prosecutors meet Iraqis

US lawyers' Baghdad visit underscores efforts to show that case is taken seriously.

    Family members of those killed are calling for compensation and punishment [AFP]

    The killing of Iraqi civilians in the middle of heavy traffic at Baghdad's Nisoor Square last year sparked international condemnation and launched US congressional hearings into the matter.

    Witnesses and an Iraqi investigation say the shooting was unprovoked, but Blackwater says the guards were defending themselves after being ambushed.

    Victims have demanded compensation as well as punishment for the shooters.

    The five men have been charged with 14 counts of manslaughter, 20 counts of attempted manslaughter and one count of using a machine gun to commit a violent crime.

     

    A sixth Blackwater employee struck a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding a second.

     

    Security contractors in Iraq have largely enjoyed blanket immunity from local authorities. A new law taking effect next year will revoke some of that immunity, although US forces and private guards working directly with them would still be protected.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.

    Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

    Crisis of Aboriginal women in prison in Australia

    Aboriginal women are the largest cohort of prisoners in Australia, despite making up only 2 percent of the population.