Thursday, November 16, 2006

Iraq V: Update on the Mahmoudiya Rape-Murder

One of four U.S. soldiers accused of raping an Iraqi girl last spring and killing her and her family pleaded guilty Wednesday and will testify against the others.

Specialist James P. Barker agreed to the plea deal to avoid the death penalty.

The killings March 12 in Mahmoudiya, a village about 20 miles south of Baghdad, were among the worst in a series of attacks on civilians and other abuses by military personnel in Iraq.
Sergeant Paul E. Cortez and Private First Class Jesse V. Spielman could face the death penalty if convicted in the case in courts-martial at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The alleged ringleader, former Private Steve Green, pleaded not guilty last week to charges including murder and sexual assault.

Green was discharged from the Army for a "personality disorder" before the allegations became known, and prosecutors have yet to say if they will pursue the death penalty against him.

More here.

(Image: Rape victim Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi's 1993 ID card)

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