US soldiers executed Iraqi militants in prison: report

August 28th, 2008 - 1:10 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, Aug 27 (DPA) Three US soldiers executed four Iraqi prisoners in March or April of 2007, the New York Times reported Wednesday, citing sworn statements by two of the soldiers.The four militants with apparent ties to the Shia al-Mahdi Army were shot in the head while blindfolded and handcuffed. Their bodies were then left in a canal west of Baghdad, the newspaper reported after obtaining the statements.

Sergeant First Class Joseph Mayo and Sergeant Michael Leahy Jr confessed to and described the killings in a statement to US Army investigators in January.

Mayo and Leahy admitted to each killing at least one of the prisoners on orders from First Sergeant John Hatley, who they said killed two of the prisoners.

The three men have not been charged, but civilian lawyers representing other members of the platoon expected they would be charged with murder, according to the New York Times.

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