VOANews.com

Voice of America Trusted Source of News & Information since 1942

02 September 2009 

Today from VOA:

Live Streams:  Latest Newscast |  Africa Live |  Global Live
News in 45 Languages
4 Iraqis Sentenced to Death for Bank Robbery

02 September 2009

An Iraqi court has sentenced four security force members to death for their involvement in a bloody bank heist that left eight police guards dead.

Iraqi policemen guard a Baghdad bank that was the site of a July robbery, 02 Sep 2009
Iraqi policemen guard a Baghdad bank that was the site of a July robbery, 02 Sep 2009
The gunmen were convicted of shooting the guards and taking more than $3 million in a pre-dawn raid on the state-run al-Rafidain Bank in July.


The money was later recovered, leading to the implication of two former employees of Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi.

A judge told the men Wednesday they have 30 days to appeal their sentence. A fifth defendant was released because of insufficient evidence.  

Separately, Britain is seeking to verify whether remains handed to Iraqi authorities Wednesday are those of a British hostage seized in Baghdad in 2007.

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said he cannot yet confirm that it is one of the five Britons abducted in a raid on the Iraqi Finance Ministry.

Elsewhere in the capital, six people were wounded in separate bomb explosions in central and northern Baghdad.

In northern Iraq's Mosul, a teenager was killed and her mother wounded after gunmen entered their home. In east Mosul, another civilian was found shot dead near his home.

Roadside bombs killed one person and wounded four others in separate attacks around Mosul and Kirkuk.  

The Iraqi government reported that the number of casualties from violence hit a 13-month high in August.  

Also Wednesday, U.S. State Department officials confirmed that they have temporarily extended a contract with the controversial security firm formerly known as Blackwater.

The contract was due to expire Thursday. But news reports quoting unnamed officials say Blackwater will continue to provide air support for American diplomats in Iraq until the firm chosen to replace it (Dyncorp International) is ready to take over.  

The Iraqi government banned Blackwater, now called Xe, from operating in Iraq after a 2007 incident in which some of its employees were accused of using excessive force during a shooting in Baghdad that killed 17 Iraqi civilians.  

 

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters. 


E-mail This Article E-mail This Article
Print This Article Print Version
  Related Stories
Amnesty International: Iraq Has 1,000 Prisoners on Death Row
Government Says August Was Bloodiest Month for Iraqis in Past Year
US Proposes Sending Troops to Disputed Area of Northern Iraq
Son Succeeds Father as Head of Iraq's Largest Shi'ite Party
 
  Top Story

  More Stories