DOJ Blackwater probe focused on guards, not company: AP

[JURIST] Blackwater Worldwide [corporate website] is not likely to face criminal charges in connection with a September 16 shooting in Baghdad in which 14 Iraqi civilians were killed, AP reported Saturday, citing a half-dozen individuals closely associated with a US Department of Justice probe. The sources told AP that the investigation was concentrating on three or four individual Blackwater guards. No recommendation on charges against them is likely until late this summer. Last month the US State Department renewed its diplomatic security contract with Blackwater. AP has more.

Bringing criminal charges against the Blackwater employees would require surmounting numerous legal hurdles [JURIST report], DOJ officials reportedly told Congress during a private meeting in December. The Blackwater allegations have caused domestic outrage in Iraq and have prompted legal controversy in the US. In November, the New York Times and the Washington Post reported that an FBI investigation into the incident concluded that the shootings were unjustified {JURIST report].

 

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