Saturday, January 02, 2010

Iraq threatens action after Blackwater case collapses.

I can well understand Iraqi outrage over a judge's decision to dismiss all charges against Blackwater employees accused of taking part in an allegedly unprovoked shooting spree which ended in the deaths of 17 Iraqis.

In his 90-page ruling, Judge Ricardo Urbina made no comment on the legality or otherwise of the shooting. He dismissed the case on the grounds that the five had had their constitutional rights violated by the way confession statements they had made had been used by the prosecution.

The statements were made when the men were under threat of losing their jobs if they did not cooperate with investigators. The US government had promised that their statements would not be used against them in a criminal case.

Urbina said that despite this immunity deal, the statements had been used, thus tainting the investigation. He said the government's case had been "contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility".

The Iraqis are now determined to push ahead with a prosecution.

A spokesman for the Iraqi government said the collapse of the case in the US courts would lead to an intensified criminal prosecution of Blackwater through the Iraqi legal system. Ali al-Dabbagh said the criminal suit was already well advanced against the firm, which would not be allowed to restart its private military work in the country.

"The government will monitor proceedings against Blackwater in Iraqi courts to prosecute the company and will preserve the rights of Iraqi citizens, of the victims and their families affected by this crime," he said.

Maybe I have this completely wrong, but my memory tells me that George Bush did some kind of deal which guaranteed immunity from prosecution of all US citizens under Iraqi law.

So I am unsure of how the Iraqi government will be able to proceed with any case against these Blackwater employees.

And, even if they are able to push ahead with prosecution, does anyone really believe that extradition will take place between the US and Iraq?

The killing of seventeen innocents will go totally unpunished. The Iraqi government are making a lot of noise about ensuring justice, but I have no faith that we will ever see justice in this case.

Click here for full article.


Anonymous said...

The Iraqi government should take a leaf out of the Israelis' book and ice the Blackwater murderers one by one. I am sure that Iraq will be celebrated as the Israelis are for such things - actually there will probably be much wailing and gnashing of teeth if the Iraqis were to be so bold as to eliminate the scum mercenaries.

Kel said...

The Iraqis cannot behave as the Israelis do. International law continues to apply to Iraqi behaviour.

And we all know that Israel accepts no such constraints and that the US will never force her to do so.