Task Force 1st Armored Division Officer Faces Murder Charge
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Jun. 17, 2004 An officer assigned to Task Force 1st Armored Division in Iraq was formally charged June 12 with the murder of an Iraqi man, a U.S. Central Command news release announced today.
The officer now faces an Article 32 investigation, similar to a civilian grand jury hearing. No date or location has been set for the hearing, the news release said. An officer will hear the evidence and will prepare and submit recommendations for the disposition of the case to the task force's commander, Army Maj. Gen. Martin E. Dempsey.
The accused officer has a defense attorney provided by the Army Trial Defense Service.
The charge stems from a May 21 incident near Kufa, CENTCOM reported. Soldiers conducted a high-speed chase with a vehicle they believed was carrying suspected members of radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's militia. During their pursuit, the news release continued, soldiers fired at the vehicle, wounding the driver and passenger. Shortly afterward, the driver was shot and killed at close range.
In the release, CENTCOM officials said the release of further information would not be appropriate in light of the pending investigation.