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Nov 05,2007
Iraq probe hears of hospital executions
by UPI

BAGHDAD -- A Baghdad tribunal has enough evidence to try two Shiite Health Ministry officials for the slayings of Sunni Muslims in hospitals, The New York Times reported.

Hakim al-Zamili, a former deputy health minister, and Brig. Gen. Hamid al-Shammari, who led the agency's security force, were arrested in February and March amid allegations Sunni patients were denied treatment or killed by hospital staff, the Times reported.

However, U.S. officials who are advising the Iraqi judicial system said it remains unclear if the Iraqi government will go ahead with the trial that would showcase sectarian abuses committed under government auspices.

Under the country's constitution, the Health Ministry could also block the case using a clause that prohibits prosecution of officials who were carrying out their official duties, the Times said.

"This investigation and trial can be a real statement that protected Iraqi witnesses and judges will follow the evidence where it leads, even when it leads to corrupt senior government officials," U.S. Army Col. Mark Martins, the staff judge advocate for the U.S. military command, said in a telephone interview.

Copyright © 2007, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

436 times read

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