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[casi-analysis] US officer cleared of Murder - of course

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Have a read of this article from Al-Jazeera and remember that this is the same Iraq, that will be 
holding its first "free and democratic elections" on January the 30th.

If Tracy Perkins was cleared of killing an Iraqi  "but guilty of assault for having subordinates 
force him off a bridge over the Tigris River."  Does this count as Terrorism and will Tracy Perkins 
end up in Camp X-ray for committing an act of "terror"?

Sergeant Perkins is only going to serve eleven years for a crime he was found guilty of, will this 
officer serve the full term, or get time off for good behaviour or the sentence just simply 
reduced, for in the words of one leading NAZI at his trial - "I was only following orders!"

Who Knows???
Saturday 08 January 2005, 11:32 Makka Time, 8:32 GMT

A US military panel has found an army sergeant innocent of killing an Iraqi civilian, but guilty of 
assault for having subordinates force him off a bridge over the Tigris River.

Army Sergeant 1st Class Tracy Perkins was cleared on Friday of a charge of involuntary 
manslaughter, but found guilty on charges of assault and obstruction of justice. He was also 
cleared on a charge of making false statements.

Sentencing of Perkins, 33, a 14-year army veteran, will begin on Saturday by the same jury panel. 
He faces a maximum of 11.5 years in prison on his conviction for assault and obstruction of justice.

The military panel had deliberated for more than 16 hours before delivering its verdict late on 
Friday night.

'No evidence'

Perkins was accused of killing Zaidun Hassun, 19, by having soldiers force him and a cousin off a 
ledge above the Tigris river in Samarra, Iraq in January 2004.

The cousin, Marwan Fadil, testified on Wednesday that the soldiers tossed the two at gunpoint into 
the water after they begged for mercy and then laughed as Hassun drowned.

Defence lawyer Captain Joshua Norris said the panel should not convict Perkins because there was 
"no body, no evidence, no death". Soldiers testified both men made it safely to shore and that the 
death may have been faked.

Blog alert

The drowning incident almost went untold until a popular online blog - - posted a public appeal from Hassun's mother calling for an 
investigation into her son's death.

She claimed the two cousins had been hauling toilet spare parts from Baghdad to Samarra when their 
truck broke down on 3 January.

After repairing it, they were stopped at a US checkpoint at 15 minutes before the beginning of the 
11pm nightly curfew. The two Iraqis were allowed to pass but were then followed by a "mechanised 

They were stopped, forced out of their truck, handcuffed and taken to a bridge overlooking the 
Tharthar Dam where they were then allegedly forced to jump into the Tigris river.

Hassun's mother wrote an open letter to US President George Bush and British Prime Minister Tony 
Blair pleading for an investigation into her son's death.

An investigation was opened by US occupation forces on 8 January.

Aljazeera + Agencies


The Iraq Solidarity Campaign

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