Iraq's prime minister has demanded an independent inquiry of the rape-slaying of a girl and the killing of her family, saying the immunity from Iraqi prosecution enjoyed by US forces "encouraged them to commit such crimes."
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose brief tenure has been marked by several high-profile allegations of abuse by US forces, called for an Iraqi investigation - or at least a joint inquiry - into the March 12 rape and murder of Abeer Qassim Hamza, and the killing of her mother, father and sister at their home in Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad.
He also said the agreements under which US-led coalition troops enjoy immunity from prosecution by Iraqi courts should be reviewed.
"We believe that the immunity given to members of coalition forces encouraged them to commit such crimes in cold blood (and) that makes it necessary to review it," al-Maliki told reporters in Kuwait on Wednesday.
Al-Maliki spoke two days after former Army Pfc. Steve D. Green was charged in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina, with rape and four counts of murder. Green was held without bond. At least four other US soldiers still in Iraq are under investigation in the attack, which occurred near the town of Mahmoudiya.
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