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Law & Legal Issues, Iraq


A U.S. soldier accused of killing five fellow servicemen at a military combat stress center in Baghdad is set to appear at a pre-trial hearing on Tuesday as Army prosecutors and defense attorneys present motions concerning his mental health, Reuters reported.

Sergeant John Russell, who could face the death penalty if convicted, is accused of going on a shooting spree at Camp Liberty, near the Baghdad airport, in a 2009 assault the military said at the time could have been triggered by combat stress.


An Iraqi court has sentenced a Saudi man to death for joining a Jihadist group blamed for terrorist acts in the country, the Iraqi Supreme Judicial Council announced Wednesday, dpa reported.

The Council, Iraq's highest judicial body, said that the Criminal Court had convicted the Saudi of entering Iraq illegally via Syria and joining the Islamic Army in Iraq "with the pretext of fighting the US forces and destabilizing the country."

It was not clear when the convict had been arrested and if he has the right to appeal the ruling.


Iraq has deprived the Turkish Petroleum Corporation TPAO of a licence for the exploration of the field in the block 9, which was earlier issued within the fourth round of issue of licenses to foreign companies to explore for hydrocarbons, the Turkish newspaper The Lira quotes head of the licensing department at the Iraqi Oil Ministry, Abdul Mahdi Hamed al-Amidi as saying on Wednesday.


Iraqi authorities Tuesday executed 21 people guilty of terrorism-related offences, local media reported.

Three women were among those executed, the independent Alsumaria News website reported.

In July, London-based human rights group Amnesty International said Iraq had executed at least 70 people so far in 2012, compared with a total of 68 in 2011, dpa reported.

Iraq imposes death sentences on most terrorism-related cases, the rights group reported. Iraq carried out the fourth-highest number of executions worldwide in 2011, after China, Iran and Saudi Arabia.


Eleven Iranian citizens were released this morning from Iraqi Nasiriyye prison, IRIB News reported.

After spending from four to five years in the Iraqi prison for illegally crossing the border, the captives were freed with the help from Iran's consulate in Iraq. They were then transferred back to Iran.

In Iraq, illegal border crossing is punishable by up to 6 years in prison.


Iraqi police arrested an Iranian pilgrim, who attempted to transfer illegally his mother’s dead body in a suit-case through Shalamche border, Mehr News Agency reported.

The pilgrim headed from Iran’s Isfahan province to holy city of Karbala, a sacred destination for Shiite Muslims.


Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has revealed that he pledged support for a military operation against Iraq's Saddam Hussein despite legal concerns.

Blair made the acknowledgement during a second appearance before a British inquiry into his role in the lead-up to the U.S.-led invasion to topple the Iraqi dictator in 2003.

In a written statement to the inquiry, Blair said he disregarded advice from his top legal officer that attacking Iraq would be illegal without a second UN resolution because it was "provisional."


Iraq rejected on Monday allegations by Amnesty International which said that tens of thousands of prisoners in Iraq have been held in prisons for years without trial and many of them recently transferred from U.S. custody are facing ill-treatment, Iraqi officials said.

"The Iraqi government rejects what was mentioned by the Amnesty International report which claimed that thousands of detainees held in Iraqi prisons are held without trial," Ali al-Mossawi, a media advisor in the office of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, told reporters.