Iraq to back Blackwater victims in US courts, retaliation asked

Dabbagh also said the government would ask the U.S. Justice Department to review the case against the Blackwater guards who were charged with killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

Iraq to back Blackwater victims in US courts, retaliation asked

Iraq plans to support a lawsuit in U.S. courts filed by victims of a 2007 shooting in which guards for private U.S. security firm Blackwater gunned down Iraqi civilians, the government spokesman said on Sunday.

"The government will facilitate a lawsuit from Iraqi citizens to sue the guards and the company in a U.S. court," Ali al-Dabbagh said.

Dabbagh also said the government would ask the U.S. Justice Department to review the case against the guards from Blackwater, now known as Xe Services, who were charged with killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in 2007.

A U.S. federal court has dismissed all charges against five Blackwater guards over the killings, but Dabbagh said the court "rejected the case on form, and not on its merits."

Iraq has called that decision "unacceptable and unjust."

Dabbagh said Iraq was conducting an investigation into whether current or former Blackwater employees were still operating in the country, including with other firms.

He said Iraq did not want them on its soil, but did not say whether they would be expelled.

"We do not want any member of this company, which committed more than one crime in Iraq, to work in Iraq."

In a speech to Iraq's parliament on Sunday, lawmaker Omar al-Jubouri suggested a way the government could retaliate for the decision of the U.S. courts.

"Ask the Iraqi courts to release all the (Iraqi) defendants ... sentenced to death for killing Americans in Iraq, as an act of reciprocity with the U.S. judicial system," he said.


Reuters

Last Mod: 03 Ocak 2010, 17:34
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