Three soldiers charged in Iraqi man's drowning death; man allegedly ordered to jump into river

Friday, July 2nd 2004, 6:13 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ Three soldiers have been charged with manslaughter in the drowning death of an Iraqi man who was forced to jump off a bridge near Baghdad in January, the military said Friday.

A fourth soldier, who like the other three is from Fort Carson, faces charges for allegedly ordering a second Iraqi to jump. That man survived.

The Army said the drowning happened Jan. 4 in the city of Samarra. It described the victim as a detainee, but no other details were released.

The four are assigned to Fort Carson's 3rd Brigade Combat Team, which is part of the 4th Infantry based at Fort Hood, Texas. All of the brigade's 4,500 soldiers returned to Fort Carson by April after about a year in Iraq.

Two of the soldiers, 1st Lt. Jack M. Saville and Sgt. 1st Class Tracy E. Perkins, are charged with manslaughter, assault, conspiracy and obstruction of justice, according to officials with the 4th Infantry Division at Fort Hood. Sgt. Reggie Martinez is charged with manslaughter and Spec. Terry Bowman is charged with assault. All are charged with making false statements.

Saville and Perkins were formally charged on June 7, while the other two were formally charged June 28.

They face a hearing at Fort Carson to determine whether they should be court-martialed. The procedure, called an Article 32 hearing, has not been scheduled.

At least 19 prisoner deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan have been investigated as homicides by the military; eight were determined to be justified killings of an escaping or dangerously violent prisoner.

Also Friday, the British government announced that a British soldier will face court-martial over the shooting of a 13-year-old Iraqi boy. The boy was wounded Sept. 15 in southern Iraq. Pvt. Alexander Johnston will face court-martial for unlawful wounding. He also could face an alternative charge of negligent handling of a weapon, Attorney General Lord Goldsmith said.

The Ministry of Defense would not give more details about what happened or say how badly the boy was wounded. No date was set for the court-martial.

At least two other Fort Carson soldiers are under investigation in the death of another Iraqi in custody: Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, who was smothered last fall.

A soldier who shot and killed a prisoner in Iraq who threw rocks at him was punished and dismissed from the Army for using excessive force. Several Marines were charged in connection with the treatment of a Baath Party member who died of strangulation after a Marine grabbed him by the neck at a holding facility near Nasiriyah. Investigators determined his death was an accident.

A contractor for the CIA, 38-year-old David A. Passaro of Lillington, N.C., was charged with two counts each of assault and assault with a dangerous weapon _ a flashlight _ in connection with the death of Abdul Wali, an Afghan prisoner at Asadabad, Afghanistan.