Fri, Jul 20, 2007 - Page 7 News List

US charges two soldiers with premeditated murder


The US military said yesterday it had charged two soldiers with the premeditated murder of an Iraqi in yet another scandal to rock the US forces in Iraq since the invasion to oust former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

Sergeant First Class Trey Corrales and Specialist Christopher Shore were charged for the murder last month near the city of Kirkuk, the military said in a statement.

The charges were levied after reports of "alleged wrongdoing made by fellow soldiers to military authorities," the military said.

No more details of the alleged murder were revealed.

The pair are assigned to a company based at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii but currently deployed in northern Iraq.

The military said the commander of the unit, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Browder, was replaced "due to lack of confidence in his ability to command effectively."

The latest charges come a day after a US Marine was convicted of kidnapping and conspiracy to murder but acquitted of the most serious charge of premeditated murder in the killing of an Iraqi man who was dragged from his home near Hamdania to a ditch where he was fatally shot.

Corporal Trent Thomas was also acquitted of making a false official statement, housebreaking and larceny. He faces a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole.

Thomas, 25, was the first member of his squad to take his case to trial. Four other Marines and a Navy corpsman pleaded guilty; two other Marines face trial.

The squad members were accused of killing a civilian they found asleep in his home after they failed to kidnap a suspected insurgent. Squad members tried to cover up the killing by planting a gun near the victim.

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