21.6.06

US troops may be charged with murder and kidnapping

US troops may be charged with murder and kidnapping:

The US Marine Corps will announce criminal charges on Wednesday against troops in the April 26 killing of an Iraqi civilian in a case in which seven Marines and a Navy corpsman are being held in pre-trial confinement, a US defence official said.

The Marines plan to hold a news conference at Camp Pendleton, California, at 4 p.m. (1 p.m. Pacific) to announce the charges, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The official did not give the names of the troops to be charged or the actual charges. Defence lawyers representing some of the men in custody have said they expect murder and kidnapping charges.

Military criminal investigators have been examining whether the servicemen fatally shot a 52-year-old disabled Iraqi man in the face, then planted a rifle and a shovel next to his body to make it appear he was an insurgent placing a roadside bomb.

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