American contractors cleared in Iraq killing
Five U.S. security contractors arrested in Baghdad have been cleared in the killing of a fellow American contractor, but two of them face drug-related charges, the Iraqi government said Thursday.
Three of the U.S. contractors, and an Iraqi colleague arrested with them, will be released on bail and will still face charges of carrying unauthorized weapons and fake documents, government spokesman Ali Dabbagh said.
“Two of the contractors have not been released because they are accused in a drugs case, which is still being investigated,” Dabbagh said.
If any are charged and brought before an Iraqi court, they will be the first Americans to face local justice since a security pact making U.S. contractors subject to Iraqi law took effect in January.
It was unclear where the three Americans and the detained Iraqi were. Judy Feeney, the wife of one of the Americans, Donald Feeney Jr., said Wednesday that he had been released. But a Reuters reporter at the police station where they were held said Thursday that he had not seen them emerge.
On Wednesday, Rafae Munahe, an advisor to Interior Minister Jawad Bolani, told The Times that three of the men had already been freed.
The Americans, Donald Feeney Jr., Donald Feeney III, Mark Bridges, Jason Jones and Micah Milligan were arrested last week, a Feeney family spokeswoman said. The Iraqi has not been identified. The Feeneys, who are father and son, and at least two of the other men work for Corporate Training Unlimited.
The group was questioned about the death of James Kitterman, who was found bound, blindfolded and stabbed to death last month in the capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone.