US top military official says troops need immunity for continued presence in Iraq Zach Zagger at 8:47 AM ET
[JURIST] Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff [official website], Admiral Mike Mullen [official profile], said Tuesday that US troops must be granted immunity in order to remain in Iraq beyond the end-of-the-year deadline. It is up to the Iraqi Parliament to decide whether they still need a US presence [WP report] beyond the deadline, but Mullen stressed that the agreement must contain immunity from prosecution. US troops are scheduled for complete withdrawal by December 31. But granting the immunity is a controversial issue [Reuters report] for Iraqi lawmakers, and a debate is scheduled for Tuesday. Tensions remain from a 2007 shooting incident [JURIST report] where as many as 14 Iraqi civilians were allegedly killed by US government contractors working for Blackwater USA [JURIST news archive] now known as Xe Services. The contractors were immune from prosecution in Iraq under the US agreement with the Iraq government. Still, an agreement may be avoided if it is determined that only a small force of trainers are required to remain.
Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible, ad-free format.