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Gonzales urges enforcement of rule of law in Iraq

[JURIST] US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales [official website] said during a one-day visit to Baghdad [press release] Tuesday that enforcement of the rule of law is essential to Iraq's future, but stressed that it was up to the country's leaders and people to determine what kind of law that would be. Gonzales met with local US Justice Department personnel working to help rebuild the country's legal infrastructure, as well as Iraqi judicial officials. Gonzales also met with Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh and, according to Gonzales, discussed "extraordinary measures" in connection to prisoner and detainee policy. Gonzales declined to elaborate.

Saleh told reporters that the two also discussed Iraq's desire for transparent investigations [JURIST report] by Iraqi judges into alleged improper conduct by US troops. US soldiers have been implicated in several alleged atrocities, including the alleged murder of 24 Iraqi civilians by US Marines in Haditha [JURIST news archive] and the alleged rape and murder of a 14-year-old girl [JURIST news archive] and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya. Gonzales told reporters Tuesday that most US troops "meet the highest ethical standard" and those who do not will be punished to the fullest extent of the law. AP has more.

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