Article 32 investigation for 1st AD captain charged in death of Iraqi rescheduled for Germany
July 6, 2004
The Article 32 investigation for the Task Force 1st Armored Division captain charged with murder and dereliction of duty in the death of an Iraqi man has been adjourned until the 1st AD has redeployed to Germany.
The investigation, which is similar to a civilian court grand jury hearing, for Capt. Rogelio M. Maynulet will resume in late July, according to a statement released by the 1st AD.
The release publicly named Maynulet as the suspect for the first time and gave some details of the May 21 incident. The release said the hearing, which began June 25 and adjourned three days later, has been closed upon the request of Maynulet’s defense team and the presentation of classified information.
The charges stem from the death of an Iraqi civilian who was driving a car and was wounded during a high-speed chase near Kufa, Iraq, when U.S. forces shot into the car. The driver, one of two Iraqis wounded, was then shot and killed at close range, according to the release.
According to a previous 1st AD release, soldiers believed the vehicle was carrying suspected members of Muqtada al-Sadr’s militia.
News reports have suggested the vehicle tried to run a checkpoint and then got in a crash after soldiers fired on it. The driver was reported as asking to be killed after being seriously injured.
Deployed troops have been discussing what they know about the case, and have had mixed feelings about the circumstances surrounding the murder charge, with some saying it was a mercy killing for the wounded Iraqi, while others said it could have been self-defense.
However, according to military Web sites, neither military law, international law nor the Geneva Conventions allows a military member to kill a wounded civilian in a mercy kill. According to the law, military members are required to treat civilians with available care.
Some military members have said it would be best to have the hearing opened.
“There should be an open investigation so the public could make its own judgment,” said Lance Cpl. Chris Weimer, of Fort Wayne, Ind., who is with the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment out of Camp Fallujah.
He said Maynulet should be given the benefit of the doubt until there is evidence that he did do something wrong.
First AD officials said it would be inappropriate to comment further on the incident until more information becomes releasable.
— Stars and Stripes reporter Charlie Coon contributed to this article.