Archive for Sunday, September 19, 2004

Soldiers face trials in death of Iraqi forced off bridge

September 19, 2004


— Two soldiers face courts-martial over the alleged drowning of an Iraqi civilian forced to jump off a bridge.

1st Lt. Jack Saville and Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins will be tried in a military court on charges of manslaughter, assault, conspiracy, making false official statements and obstruction of justice.

Saville and Perkins, both based at Fort Carson, face 5 1/2 years to 26 1/2 years in prison if convicted. No dates have been set for trials, ordered Friday by commanding officer Major Gen. James D. Thurman.

Capt. Robert Ayers, who presided over Perkins' hearings on the charges, had recommended the manslaughter charge be dropped because there was no proof the Iraqi drowned. Ayers recommended the other charges go to court martial.

The Army and family members of 19-year-old Zaidoun Hassoun contend Hassoun drowned Jan. 3 near Samarra when he and his cousin were forced to jump in a river. The soldiers maintain that both Iraqis, who were stopped for breaking curfew, made it safely to shore.

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