Charges dropped in Haditha case
The US military has dropped all charges against one of the marines accused of involvement in the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha in November 2005.
L/Cpl Stephen Tatum, 26, was about to face a court martial on charges of involuntary manslaughter.
Prosecutors say that US marines indiscriminately killed 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, in the incident.
Five of the eight men initially accused have now had all charges dismissed.
Jack Zimmerman, a defence lawyer for L/Cpl Tatum, said in a statement: "It became clear to the experienced prosecution team that the right thing to do was to dismiss all charges.
"We believe the evidence shows that Lance Corporal Tatum reacted to an enemy attack the way he was trained to do." ...
...Despite the accusations, there was no full US investigation into what happened until January 2006, when video footage emerged of the aftermath, shot by a local human rights activist.
A subsequent investigation by Time magazine suggested that most of the dead were shot by marines after the bomb - and in March 2006 a criminal investigation was begun. ...