Four U.S. soldiers have been charged with rape and murder of an Iraqi girl and killing the rest of her family, bringing to 5 the number of U.S. military men accused in the crime that took place in Mahmoudiya, Iraq, last March, the U.S. military said on Sunday.
A fifth soldier has been accused of dereliction of duty for failing to report the case.
"On July 8, 2006, the four soldiers were charged in connection with their alleged participation in the rape and murder of a young Iraqi woman and three members of her family," the 101st Airborne Division said in a statement.
The fifth soldier "was charged with dereliction of duty for his failure to report the rape and murder of these Iraqi civilians, but is not alleged to have been a direct participant in the rape and killings.
"All are charged with conspiring with former Private First Class Steven D. Green to commit these crimes."
- "Personality disorder"
Last week, former soldier Steven Green, 21, was accused of carrying out the rape and killings on March 11 in Mahmoudiya, just south of Baghdad.
Court documents show that Green was discharged from the army due to a "personality disorder" before the Mahmoudiya case came to light.
Green pleaded not guilty in federal court in Kentucky.
Prosecutors said that Green shot and killed an Iraqi man, woman and child and then grabbed the 15-year old Iraqi girl, raped her then killed her.
A U.S. official, who demanded not to be named, said that Green and other soldiers who were manning a checkpoint close to the girl's house, spent nearly a week plotting an attack on the family house, south of Baghdad to rape her.
According to Justice Department affidavit, three soldiers accompanied Green into the house, and another monitored the radio while the rest carried out their crime.
A U.S. military statement challenged the charges raised against the soldiers, describing them as "merely an accusation. Those accused are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."
The statement did not identify the soldiers newly charged in the crime.
The four soldiers will face an Article 32 investigation, similar to a grand jury hearing in civilian law. The Article 32 proceeding will decide whether there is enough evidence to put them on trial.
• Muslims' Condemnation
The Association of Muslim Scholars, an influential Sunni organisation in Iraq, issued a strong condemnation over the rape of the Iraqi girl and the brutal killing of her family by U.S. troops.
"Raping this girl then mutilating her is shameful and will remain as a sign of shame to American invaders," the organisation said in its statement.
"The mean behavior and terrible violations committed by the invaders show the truth of the ugly American face and shows that their claims of supporting humanity and liberation are false," said the Sunni association.
"We call the world and all humanitarian organizations as witnesses to this ugly crime and urge them to face the American recklessness that went way too far".Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16