January 08, 2005

HERE'S AN UPDATE in the case involving Zeyad's cousin:

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) -- An Army sergeant took the stand and tearfully apologized to his family, commanding officers and subordinates Saturday, a day after being convicted of aggravated assault for ordering his soldiers to throw Iraqis into the Tigris River.

"If I had to go back, I would definitely do something different on those days," Army Sgt. 1st Class Tracy Perkins said, wiping away tears.

Perkins, 33, was convicted Friday of two counts of aggravated assault, a charge of assault consummated by battery and a charge of obstruction of justice. He was acquitted of involuntary manslaughter in the alleged drowning of one of the men. . . .

Perkins and another soldier were accused of ordering soldiers to push the two Iraqis into the river in Samarra in January 2004. Prosecutors say Zaidoun Hassoun, 19, drowned and his cousin, Marwan Hassoun, climbed out the river.

Marwan Hassoun testified that he tried to save his cousin by grabbing his hand, but the powerful current swept Zaidoun away. Marwan said the body was found in the river nearly two weeks later.

I don't know whether this verdict is just or not, but at least the matter wasn't swept under the rug. Directory of earlier posts on this subject here.

UPDATE: The story I link above has been updated, and says that the sentence is 6 months, which seems to me to be very light.