US troops 'laughed as Iraqi died'




 
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January 7th, 2005  
SwordFish_13
 
 

Topic: US troops 'laughed as Iraqi died'


Hi,



Quote:
US troops 'laughed as Iraqi died'

An Iraqi civilian has testified that US soldiers forced him and his cousin to jump into the River Tigris and laughed as his relative was swept to his death.

"He was calling my name, said: 'Help me! Help me!'" Marwan Fadel Hassoun told a military trial in Texas.

Army Sgt Tracy Perkins, 33, is on trial for an array of charges including involuntary manslaughter.

Three other soldiers have also been charged over the incident in the city of Samarra on 3 January 2004.

Mr Fadel said he and his cousin were transporting plumbing supplies from Baghdad to the city when they were approached by US troops when their truck broke down a few minutes before a 2300 curfew.

He said they were forced to the river at gunpoint.


The last time I saw my son, he was a dead body
Mamoun Hassoun
"We started to beg them not to throw us in the water," he said through a translator.

"We said in English, 'Please, please', but it was in vain.

"The soldiers had their rifles aimed at us. They were laughing."

He said he tried to save his 19-year-old cousin by grabbing his hand, but to no avail.

The court was shown a picture of a corpse which Mr Fadel's family say they pulled from the river and buried.

Body to be exhumed

"The last time I saw my son, he was a dead body," Mamoun Hassoun, the father of Zaidoun Fadel Hassoun, told the court.

The defence denies that the body is Zaidoun's, saying it believes both men made it to shore alive.

The trial of another soldier accused in the case, 1st Lt Jack Saville, has been postponed so that the body can be exhumed and examined.

Both men are charged with involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, aggravated assault, obstruction of justice, and lying to investigators. They could receive up to 29 years in prison if convicted.

Sgt Reggie Martinez is charged with manslaughter and Specialist Terry Bowman is charged with assault.

Source
Peace
-=SF_13=-
January 7th, 2005  
Redleg
 
 
Hmmm..

Quote:
The court was shown a picture of a corpse which Mr Fadel's family say they pulled from the river and buried.

........

The defence denies that the body is Zaidoun's, saying it believes both men made it to shore alive.
It will be hard to sentence them for manslaughter if they can't positively ID the body, and prove that he died from drowning...

Other than that it will just be one mans word against anothers, and it's really hard to thrust any of them without some hard evidence one way or the other..
January 8th, 2005  
SwordFish_13
 
 
Hi Redleg,

Quote:
Other than that it will just be one mans word against anothers, and it's really hard to thrust any of them without some hard evidence one way or the other..
" Defense attorney Capt. Josh Norris said in closing arguments that the soldiers were trying to find non-lethal ways to deter crime and establish respect in the hostile area.

No soldiers disputed that the two Iraqis were forced into the river. Soldiers testifying for the prosecution and defense said they never heard Perkins order the Iraqis into the river and that he stayed in his vehicle that night.

The soldiers said the orders came from Army 1st Lt. Jack Saville, the platoon leader, who is to be tried in March on the same charges as Perkins as well as a conspiracy charge. His trial was postponed until March after a judge ordered the victim's body to be exhumed for an autopsy and identification. "


Form here


The Full Article

Quote:
Army Sergeant Acquitted of Manslaughter

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer

FORT HOOD, Texas - An Army sergeant was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the alleged drowning of Iraqi civilian, but convicted of assault for forcing the man and his cousin into the Tigris River for violating curfew.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins, 33, was convicted Friday of two aggravated assault charges, a charge of assault consummated by battery, and a charge of obstruction of justice.

He faces a penalty ranging from no punishment to 11 1/2 years. The sentencing phase of the trial was scheduled to begin Saturday.

Perkins and another soldier were accused of ordering soldiers to push the two Iraqis into the river in Samarra. Prosecutors say Zaidoun Hassoun, 19, drowned and his cousin, Marwan Hassoun, climbed out the river.

Defense attorneys contended Zaidoun may still be alive, but say if he is dead, it was not at the hands of U.S. soldiers.

Marwan Hassoun testified that he and his cousin were forced at gunpoint into the river as U.S. soldiers laughed.

He said he tried to save his cousin by grabbing his hand, but the powerful current swept Zaidoun away. Marwan said the body was found in the river nearly two weeks later.

"I was fighting death. I had no other choice but to do everything possible to survive," Marwan testified through an interpreter.

But three soldiers called by the defense testified that they were looking through night-vision equipment that night and saw two Iraqis on the river bank after the incident.

Sgt. Irene Cintron, an Army investigator, testified that government officials never had Zaidoun's body exhumed for testing because of security concerns. She said she could not confirm whether the corpse shown in a video provided by the family was Zaidoun's.

Perkins was convicted by a jury of Army officers and enlisted members, who deliberated 17 hours over two days and were allowed to consider lesser charges against Perkins, who has been in the military for 14 years.

Perkins was convicted of assault consummated by battery in Zaidoun's purported death, which carries a maximum sentence of six months. He was convicted of aggravated assault in connection with Marwan Hassoun and for ordering a soldier to throw another Iraqi man into the river in December 2003 near Balad. He was found innocent of making a false statement.

Defense attorney Capt. Josh Norris said in closing arguments that the soldiers were trying to find non-lethal ways to deter crime and establish respect in the hostile area.

No soldiers disputed that the two Iraqis were forced into the river. Soldiers testifying for the prosecution and defense said they never heard Perkins order the Iraqis into the river and that he stayed in his vehicle that night.

The soldiers said the orders came from Army 1st Lt. Jack Saville, the platoon leader, who is to be tried in March on the same charges as Perkins as well as a conspiracy charge. His trial was postponed until March after a judge ordered the victim's body to be exhumed for an autopsy and identification.

Source

Peace
-=SF_13=-
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January 8th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
We have a military of human beings. Human beings run the gammut of good to bad. The fact that these people were caught and facing justice says what I have said all along - the system works. Good people do what they should, and bad people get caught and pay for their misdeeds. I'd be concerned if the story said Army troops routinely tossed Iraqis in the river and nothing was ever done. That clearly isn't the case so.
January 8th, 2005  
Redleg
 
 
Thanks for the update SwordFish..

I'm always a bit suspicious to stories like that at first, but I really hope (and think) that they'll get what they deserve..