US refuses to intervene in Iraqi death sentence

A federal appeals court refused to intervene Friday in the case of a US citizen facing a death sentence in Iraq for his role in the kidnapping of three Romanian journalists in Baghdad. A three-judge panel said it is unable to step into the case because Muhammad Munaf was convicted by an Iraqi criminal court. Courts in the United States have "no power or authority" to intervene in a case brought by an Iraqi court of nationwide jurisdiction and administered by the government of Iraq, wrote Judge David Sentelle of the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Sentelle noted that Munaf is held in Iraq by US military personnel, but they are part of a multinational force authorized by the UN Security Council in coordination with the Iraqi government.