Iraqis condemn US Haditha sentence as insult

By REUTERS
January 24, 2012 19:43

 
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FALLUJA, Iraq - A three-month jail sentence for a US Marine sergeant accused of leading a massacre of 24 civilians in Haditha is "an insult to all Iraqis", a relative of one of the victims said on Tuesday.

Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich, 31, pleaded guilty on Monday at a military base in California to dereliction of duty and faces a maximum sentence of three months' confinement, forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for three months and a reduction in rank.

"This sentence gives us the proof, the solid proof that the Americans don't respect human rights," Ali Badr, a Haditha resident and relative of one of those killed, said. "This is an insult to the victims and an insult to all Iraqis."

The last American troops pulled out of Iraq in December more than eight years after the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Sunni dictator Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The Haditha killings, along with the abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison and a 2007 shooting spree by security contractors in Baghdad, sullied America's image around the world.

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