Iraq's PM calls for a review of coalition troops’ immunity from Iraqi prosecution

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Friday, July 7, 2006

The Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said today that immunity from prosecution granted to coalition troops in Iraq has encouraged atrocities.

"We believe that the immunity given to members of coalition forces encouraged them to commit such crimes in cold blood (and) that makes it necessary to review it," al-Maliki said during a visit to Kuwait.

He called for either a joint investigation or an independent Iraqi investigation into the March 12 rape and murder of an Iraqi girl, allegedly by US soldiers. The mother, father and 5 year old sister of the girl, were also killed in the attack at their home in the town of Mahmoudiya, south of Baghdad.

"We are going to demand an independent Iraqi investigation or at least a joint investigation between us and the multinational forces," al-Maliki said.

U.S. Maj.-Gen. William Caldwell said the coalition would discuss the prime minister's demands.

"We are here as guests of the Iraqi government. They are a sovereign nation. When the prime minister gets back, the coalition will engage with him and discuss what he wants to discuss.” Caldwell said.

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