Charges dropped against Marine in Haditha case

March 29th, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by admin  

Washington, March 29 (DPA) Prosecutors have dropped charges against a US Marine accused in connection with the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians near Haditha in 2005, officials said. Lance Corporal Stephen Tatum faced court martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter, reckless endangerment and aggravated assault.

But they were dismissed “in order to continue to pursue the truth seeking process into the Haditha incident”, according to a statement posted by the Marine Corps on the website of the Camp Pendleton, California Friday.

It was not clear if that meant there had been a plea bargain.

Earlier in the process, prosecutors dropped charges of murder and negligent homicide against Tatum.

In the Haditha killings, three officers have been reprimanded for faulty response while Staff Sergeant Frank D. Wuterich faces charges of unpremeditated murder of 18 civilians, including women and children.

After a Marine convoy was struck by a roadside bomb Nov 19, 2005 in the Iraqi city that left a driver fatally wounded, the troops were accused of going on a rampage against civilians to exact revenge for the killing of their comrade.

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