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Ex-Marine charged with voluntary manslaughter for Fallujah deaths

[JURIST] A former Marine sergeant has been charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter for killing two Iraqi insurgents during the Multinational National Force-Iraq's November 2004 offensive in Fallujah [GlobalSecurity backgrounder], his lawyers said Thursday. Jose Nazario will be arraigned at the US District Court for the Central District of California [official website]. According to the charges, Nazario, who was squad leader of his platoon, shot two detained insurgents while troops searched a house nearby. Nazario was arrested on the charges earlier this month and taken into custody by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) [official website], but was released on the promise that he would appear in court Thursday.

The NCIS has been investigating [JURIST report] as many as 10 Marines for the Fallujah killings. The latest allegations came after former Marine Corporal Ryan Weemer admitted the incident during a polygraphed job interview with the US Secret Service. Military journalist Nathaniel Helms has allegedly corroborated the account, reporting that he saw the Marines execute subdued Iraqi prisoners, whose bodies were later buried under rubble from an air strike. The Fallujah investigation stems from a separate NCIS probe into killings of Iraqi civilians by Marines in Haditha [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive] in November 2005. AP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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