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ALLAWI UPDATE: New U.S.-appointed Iraqi Prime Minister accused of murdering suspected insurgents  
By Mike Cuenca | July 17, 2004
As we reported recently, Iyad Allawi, the new U.S.-appointed prime minister of Iraq, was paid by the CIA to conduct terrorist bombings and sabotage in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein. Now a report is making its way around the globe that Allawi summarily executed as many as seven suspected insurgents a few days before the June 28 handover of power.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday that two separate eyewitnesses had described the killings and that neither was aware the other had told their story. Correspondent Paul McGeough reported that the witnesses said Allawi pulled his pistol and shot seven handcuffed and blindfolded suspects when he made a surprise visit to a Baghdad police station, killing at least six of them.

During an interview with ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation,) McGeough speculated that Allawi may have been angry over an attack a few days earlier on the home of the Interior Minister, who was reportedly present. McGeough said Allawi and the Interior Minister talked briefly, after which Allawi proclaimed that the suspects "'deserved worse than death,'" and then shot all seven.

The Herald story says as many as 30 people may have witnessed the killings and that several Americans were present:

One of the witnesses said there were five or six civilian-clad American security men in a convoy of five or six late model four-wheel-drive vehicles that was shepherding Dr Allawi's entourage on the day. The US military and Dr Allawi's office refused to respond to questions about the composition of his security team. It is understood that the core of his protection unit is drawn from the US Special Forces units.


If it's true that U.S. military personnel were indeed witnesses, the U.S. can't claim ignorance or impotence in investigating the killings because they would have the power to interrogate the U.S. personnel. But according to the Herald, Ambassador John Negroponte has flatly refused to investigate the report:

US officials in Iraq have not made an outright denial of the allegations. An emailed response to questions from the Herald to the US ambassador, John Negroponte, said: "If we attempted to refute each [rumour], we would have no time for other business. As far as this embassy's press office is concerned, this case is closed."


You can read the Herald's story and watch a video interview with McGeough aired by ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) at Information Clearinghouse.

Good luck finding more than a brief mention of it in the mainstream U.S. press.


 


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