Iraqi authorities plan to prosecute U.S. troops for massacring several Iraqi civilians after the last soldier involved was spared jail time through a guilty plea.
U.S. soldiers murdered 24 Iraqis in 2005 in what came to be called the Haditha massacre. In the years since, all of the soldiers involved have been tried and gone without due punishment, having their cases dismissed or their charges cleared.
The last U.S. soldier prosecuted for the massacre, Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, pled guilty to dereliction of duty, while his original charges of involuntary manslaughter were dismissed. He, like the others, will serve no jail time.
“The ruling does not fit the crime,” said Ali al-Moussawi, media adviser to Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. “We will seek legal means to maintain the rights of the innocents citizens who were killed in the incident. We will follow whatever course we can follow legally.”
Military authorities in the U.S. have issued no comment. Neal Puckett, Wuterich’s attorney said: “We have no comment about the stated intentions of the Iraqi government. Our client’s military justice case has concluded. So far as we are concerned, the matter is closed.”