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US Medic Gets a Year in Prison in Killing of Iraqi Man


A U.S. Navy medic who helped kidnap an Iraqi man later killed by U.S. Marines has been sentenced to 10 years in jail - but will serve only a year under a plea deal.

Petty Officer Melson Bacos was sentenced Friday after he testified at his court martial in Camp Pendleton, California about the April death of Hashim Ibrahim Awad in the Iraqi town of Hamdania.

Bacos described how members of his patrol seized Awad from his home when they grew frustrated in their search for an insurgent. He said the patrol leader, Sergeant Lawrence Hutchins, fired bullets into Awad's head.

Bacos was one of eight Marines charged with kidnapping and killing Awad. Prosecutors agreed to drop murder charges against Bacos in exchange for his testimony and admission of kidnapping.

Prosecutors accused the Marines of placing a machine gun and shovel next to Awad's body to make it appear he was an insurgent trying to plant a roadside bomb.

The incident is one in a series of alleged abuses and killings of civilians and prisoners by U.S. troops during the Iraq war.

The U.S. military also is investigating allegations that Marines killed 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha, while four Army soldiers have been charged in the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl. Those soldiers are also charged with killing three members of the girl's family.

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

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