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Last defendant in Iraq war case to stand trial

Last defendant in Iraq war crimes case heads to trial after years of delays By The Associated Press

SAN DIEGO (AP) ' The last defendant in the biggest and longest criminal case against U.S. troops to arise from the Iraq War is expected to stand trial this week.

The trial of Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich comes more than six years after his squad killed 24 Iraqis, including unarmed women and children, in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005.

Wuterich's lawyer says the 31-year-old Marine is confident the all-military jury will acquit him.



Wuterich has said he regretted the loss of civilian lives but believed he was operating within military combat rules when he ordered his men to attack after the roadside bomb exploded.

The massacre further tainted America's reputation when it was already at a low point after the release of photos of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison.


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