An investigating officer on Thursday recommended dismissal of all charges against a US Marine accused of murdering two girls in an assault that killed 24 civilians in the Iraqi town of Haditha.
Lance Cpl. Stephen B. Tatum, 26, is charged with unpremeditated murder of two girls and negligent homicide on suspicion that he unlawfully killed two men, a woman and a boy. He is also accused of assaulting another boy and a girl in what became the biggest US criminal case involving civilian deaths to come out of the Iraq war.
Investigating officer Lt. Col. Paul Ware found the evidence was too weak for a court-martial. Tatum shot and killed civilians, but "he did so because of his training and the circumstances he was placed in, not to exact revenge and commit murder," Ware wrote.