Attorneys for Hamandiya Marines allege coercion in probe News
Attorneys for Hamandiya Marines allege coercion in probe

[JURIST] Defense attorneys representing two US Marines accused of killing an Iraqi civilian in Hamandiya this spring claim that the Naval Criminal Investigative Service [official website] interrogated their clients under coercive conditions, including making threats about the death penalty. Attorneys Jane Siegel [profile] and Jeremiah Sullivan III said their clients were questioned for eight-hour periods on at least three occasions without being offered water or restroom breaks and were not read their rights prior to the interrogation sessions. The men are two of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman who are expected to face charges [JURIST report] for the April 26 death of the civilian and for allegedly making it seem as though the man was planting a bomb.

The accusations by the two attorneys may have implications when the soldiers face trial since a military judge must first find that any statements were made voluntarily before they can be submitted as evidence. Charges must be filed against the soldiers within 120 days of the date they were first taken into custody [MNF-Iraq press release], which was May 24. AP has more.