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3 Soldiers Accused of Retribution Iraqi Slayings

By Mike Tighe   |   Thursday, 18 Sep 2008 02:29 PM

The U.S. Army charged three of its soldiers with murder and conspiracy in the alleged retribution killings of four Iraqi men last year.

Facing charges of premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder and obstruction of justice are Sgt. John Hatley, Sgt. 1st Class Joseph P. Mayo and Sgt. Michael P. Leahy Jr., the Army said in a statement issued in Frankfurt, Germany, Wednesday.

The three, formerly assigned to the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, are accused in a case in which the Iraqi men were blindfolded, shot in the head and thrown into a canal in Baghdad around April 2007.

The slayings were in retribution for casualties the 172nd Infantry Brigade sustained, prosecutors allege.

Four other U.S. soldiers had been charged previously with conspiracy in the deaths, which allegedly took place shortly after the Iraqis were captured.

The suspects, now assigned to the 172nd Infantry Brigade, face a hearing to determine whether there is enough evidence for a court-martial.

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