Iraq `regrets` US judge dropping Blackwater case
Baghdad: Iraq said it regretted the decision of a US judge to dismiss criminal charges against five Blackwater security guards accused of fatally shooting 14 people in Baghdad in September 2007.
"The Iraqi government regrets the decision of a federal judge in the United States to drop the charges against the Blackwater security guards," government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said in a statement.
He added that an Iraqi investigation had shown that the five guards were unquestionably responsible for the deaths of the civilians.
According to Iraq, 17 civilians were killed in the shooting, but the guards were charged with 14 deaths.
"Inquiries carried out by the Iraqi government clearly confirm that the Blackwater guards committed a crime and used weapons when there was no threat necessitating the use of force," Dabbagh said.
The Iraqi government "will act forcefully and decisively to prosecute the Blackwater criminals," he added. US federal judge Ricardo Urbina on Thursday dismissed the charges against the five, saying prosecutors violated their rights by using incriminating statements they had made under immunity during a State Department probe to build their case.
The case was among the most sensational that sought to hold Blackwater employees accountable for what was seen as a culture of lawlessness and a lack of accountability as it carried out its duties in Iraq.
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 during an unprovoked attack at a busy Baghdad roundabout using guns and grenades.
The men had faced firearms charges, and up to 10 years in jail on each of 14 manslaughter counts.
US prosecutors had alleged that the guards "specifically intended to kill or seriously injure Iraqi civilians," and, according to court documents, alleged that one of the guards told another that he wanted to kill Iraqis as "payback for 9/11," bragging about the number of Iraqis he had shot.
The five defendants were security guards employed by Blackwater Worldwide, which has since been renamed as Xe Corporation.
Attorneys for the guards have said they did not fire their weapons with criminal intent but thought they were under attack.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Dr Subhash Chandra Show: Aspiring for more than what you have!
- Mumbai: CCTV captures assailant with gun at Film City
- Mathura SSP receives death threat letter, message for PM Modi
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Haridwar: Hotel Radisson Blu sealed for polluting Ganga
- Girl in Punjab's Pathankot quit studies for fear of eve-teasing
- Special: Furious over rising water crisis, people take to the streets
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- Couple in Bihar asked to pay Rs 50,000 as 'tax' for inter-caste marriage
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave kills 223 in AP, Telangana, Chandrababu Naidu announces compensation; Delhi records hottest day
- 'Tanu Weds Manu Returns' starts on a good note at the Box Office!
- CBSE 12th Result 2015 to be announced on Monday
- Death threat to PM Narendra Modi ahead of Mathura rally sends police into tizzy
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Organisation demands re-examination of AIPMT 2015
- Standoff with LG: Arvind Kejriwal calls emergency session of Delhi Assembly
- Kejriwal completes 100 days in office, AAP says centre 'shadow boxing' over row with LG
- CBSE Class 12th Board Results 2015 to be announced on Monday, May 25
- Online filing of applications for UPSC civil services exam begins
- No alliance with JD-U in Bihar: BJP
- Not just today, Muslims feeling alienated since 1947: Najma Heptulla