Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

One-man rule? China's Xi Jinping consolidated grip on power

Read more

FOCUS

See you in court: Washington state sues Monsanto over chemical pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Detroit', 'Kingsman 2', 'Beauty and the Dogs'

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Meeting Mohammad Alqadi, the Palestinian marathon man

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Deep divisions on display as NAFTA renegotiation talks end

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Wildlife Photographer awards highlight effects of poaching, plastic pollution

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Four killed in Togo clashes after religious leader arrested

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Over 300 killed in Somalia's worst ever terror attack

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Trump is the most powerful unifying force the Democrats could imagine'

Read more

Charges against Marine dropped in Haditha case

Latest update : 2008-03-28

Charges were dropped on Friday against lance corporal Stephen Tatum, one of eight US Marines allegedly involved in the killing of 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women and children on Nov. 2005 in the town of Haditha.

Charges against a US Marine allegedly involved in the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha were dropped on Friday ahead of his trial, the military said in a statement.
  
A court martial for lance corporal Stephen Tatum had been due to start on Friday on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.
  
However in a statement released from the Marines Camp Pendleton base outside San Diego, the military said the charges had been dismissed "in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident."
  
It was not immediately clear if fresh charges could be laid against Tatum at a later date or whether the soldier may now cooperate with prosecutors.
  
Tatum had been accused of shooting dead two unarmed children as Marines cleared houses near the scene of a deadly roadside bombing in Haditha, 260 kilometers west of Baghdad, on November 19, 2005.
  
The deaths were part of a grim civilian toll from the Marines' actions in Haditha. Four soldiers were initially charged with murder and four officers accused of staging a cover-up.
  
However, since charges against the soldiers were first announced in late 2006, prosecutors have struggled to make the allegations stick.
  
Four of the eight have had charges against them dropped, while charges of murder were replaced by the lesser offence of manslaughter in the cases of Tatum and his squad leader Sergeant Frank Wuterich.
  
The military investigator overseeing Tatum's pre-trial hearing had recommended all charges against the soldier be dismissed.
  
The killings in Haditha are the most serious allegations of war crimes leveled at US forces since the 2003 invasion to topple Saddam Hussein.

Date created : 2008-03-28

COMMENT(S)