[JURIST] Iraq Interior Minister Jawad al-Bolani told the Associated Press Wednesday that the Iraqi government has ordered [AP report] approximately 250 former Blackwater [JURIST news archive] employees to leave Iraq by the end of the week. The Iraqi government was reacting to a US federal court's December decision to dismiss charges against five former Blackwater employees accused of killing 17 innocent Iraqi civilians [JURIST reports] in 2007 because information against the defendants was obtained unconstitutionally. Al-Bolani said that all those ordered to leave worked in Iraq for Blackwater at the time of the shooting. Some now work for other security companies while others, according to al-Bolani, work for a subsidiary of Xe Services [corporate website], the corporation that used to be Blackwater. Those who do not leave by this weekend will be charged with violating their visas, according to the report.
Earlier this month the New York Times reported that the US Department of Justice [official website] is investigating Xe [JURIST report] to determine whether the company bribed the Iraqi government to allow Blackwater to continue operating in Iraq following the 2007 shootings. In January, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced that Iraq will file lawsuits against Blackwater [JURIST reports] for the 2007 killings in both US and Iraqi courts. US Vice-President Joe Biden has said that the DOJ will appeal the dismissal [JURIST report]. Blackwater ceased operations in Baghdad [JURIST report] in May 2009 when its security contracts for the protection of US diplomats expired.