US agrees to Iraqi jurisdiction for Americans in Iraq

Discussion in 'Iraq' started by Sunni Man, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. Sunni Man

    Sunni Man Diamond Member

    Aug 14, 2008
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    Patriotic American Muslim
    By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer

    BAGHDAD - American troops could face trial before Iraqi courts for major crimes committed off base and when not on missions, under a draft security pact hammered out in months of tortuous negotiations, Iraqi officials familiar with the accord said Wednesday.

    The draft also calls for U.S. troops to leave Iraqi cities by the end of June and withdraw from the country entirely by Dec. 31, 2011, unless the Baghdad government asks some of them to stay for training or security support, the officials said.

    It would also give the Iraqis a greater role in U.S. military operations and full control of the Green Zone, the 3 1/2-square mile area of central Baghdad that includes the U.S. Embassy and major Iraqi government offices.

    One senior Iraqi official said Baghdad may demand even more concessions before the draft is submitted to parliament for a final decision. The two sides are working against a deadline of year's end when the U.N. mandate authorizing the U.S.-led mission expires.

    The Iraqi officials, familiar with details of the draft, spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to release the information.

    In Washington, the State Department confirmed that a draft had been finalized but refused to discuss any details.

    "There is a text that people are looking at," spokesman Sean McCormack told reporters. "Nothing is done until everything is done. Everything isn't done. The Iraqis are still talking among themselves. We are still talking to the Iraqis."

    Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki briefed the country's president and two vice presidents about the draft late Tuesday and will show the proposed agreement to party leaders by the end of the week. His goal is to gauge political support before referring the draft to parliament, aides said.

    Another aide said the Iraqis would press for more concessions if the parties rally behind the government. He would not elaborate. But other al-Maliki aides had said U.S. officials told the prime minister privately that other parties were ready to sign the deal and that he alone was holding out.

    The aides spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not supposed to discuss strategy.

    During months of negotiations, which began early this year, the most difficult issue proved to be the question of who would try American soldiers and Pentagon contractors for offenses such as the killing of Iraqi civilians.

    U.S. negotiators demanded exclusive jurisdiction over all soldiers and contractors, presumably to protect them from politically motivated charges. But Iraq insisted on a role to convince the public that Iraqis — and not Americans — are in charge of their country.

    Under the compromise, the U.S. would have the primary right to try troops and Pentagon contractors for alleged offenses committed on American bases or during military operations, the officials said.

    Such language would presumably shield troops from prosecution for accidentally killing civilians caught in the crossfire during authorized combat operations.

    But Iraq would have first crack at trying U.S. military personnel and contractors for major, premeditated crimes allegedly committed outside American bases and when they are not on an authorized mission, the officials said.

  2. jla1178

    jla1178 Rank Stranger

    Aug 20, 2008
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