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DOJ still considering criminal charges in Blackwater Iraqi civilian shooting case

[JURIST] The US Justice Department has not yet made a decision on whether it will file criminal charges against Blackwater USA [corporate website] employees involved in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians during a September 16 incident [JURIST report] that took place in West Baghdad, a DOJ spokesperson said Wednesday. The comments came in response to reports from the New York Times and the Washington Post [texts] that an FBI investigation into the incident that has concluded that the shootings were unjustified [JURIST report]. DOJ spokesman Dean Boyd told AP that the investigation is still ongoing.

The Blackwater allegations have caused domestic outrage in Iraq and have prompted legal controversy in the US. Iraqi government investigators probing the killings have concluded that the Blackwater security detail's actions were unprovoked, and amounted to "deliberate murder" [JURIST report]. Last month, The Iraqi cabinet approved a draft law [JURIST report] that would strip foreign security contractors of immunity from Iraqi prosecution. The US House has passed a bill that would expand US jurisdiction over the same private contractors [JURIST report]. 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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