Iraqi Judge Sentences U.S. Citizen To Death After U.S. Military “Demanded” the Man Be Executed
An Iraqi-born US citizen is in a battle to save his life as he tries to avoid execution in Baghdad. But he’s not up against insurgents groups – he’s up against the Iraqi and US governments.
The man, Mohammad Munaf, was arrested by US troops last year. He was charged with kidnapping three Romanian journalists and holding them hostage for nearly two months. Last week, Munaf was sentenced to death. He’s being held in a US-run prison at the Baghdad airport.
Munaf maintains his innocence. Just weeks ago, it appeared he would be set free. Munaf’s attorneys say the presiding judge promised to dismiss the charges after he concluded there was no material evidence to support a conviction.
But then came a strange intervention. Two US military officers appeared in court to advocate giving Munaf the death penalty. One of the officers claimed to be acting on behalf of the Romanian embassy and said Romania “demanded” Munaf be put to death. The two officers then held a private meeting with the judge – without the defense in the room. When he returned, the judge ruled Munaf was guilty and ordered his execution.
Read it here.