State Department disputes reports of 'immunity' granted to Blackwater guards Alexis Unkovic at 3:05 PM ET
[JURIST] The US Department of State [official website] does not have the authority to "immunize an individual from federal criminal prosecution," State Department spokesperson Sean McCormack said at a daily press briefing [transcript] Tuesday, correcting an AP report [text; JURIST report] Monday citing anonymous sources as saying the State Department had granted "immunity" from prosecution to bodyguards working for private security firm Blackwater USA [corporate website; JURIST news archive] related to a September shooting incident [JURIST report] in Baghdad that killed 17 and prompted the Iraqi government to withdraw Blackwater's operating license [JURIST report]. McCormack described the Garrity protections that the Department had reportedly offered guards as "limited protections that would not preclude a successful criminal prosecution.' USA Today has more.
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