Mideast briefs: Contractor’s Article 32 hearing concludes
The Article 32 hearing for a contractor in Iraq accused of stabbing another interpreter has concluded, military officials said Thursday.
Now whether Alaa “Alex” Mohammad Ali faces a military court-martial will be determined by the investigating officer and the commander of Multi-National Corps—Iraq.
The case stems from the Feb. 23 stabbing at a combat outpost near Hit, Iraq, and resulted in the first military charges against a civilian worker under rules adopted by the military in late 2006.
The investigating officer, Lt. Col. Charles E. Febus, will weigh the evidence presented and make a recommendation on charges going forward.
Ali will continue to be held at Camp Victory until the recommendation is made, officials said Thursday.
Basra closed for reporter embedsCoalition forces in Iraq have closed off Basra to embeds for reporters, according to a military spokesman in Baghdad.
Cmdr. Scott Rye, a U.S. military spokesman in the Green Zone, said the closure happened because there aren’t any units in the area for journalists to join.
“We simply don’t have coalition forces to embed with,” Rye said, saying there were no other reasons for the embargo.
But according to U.S. military officials and press reports, there are U.S. and British training teams embedded with Iraqi army and police units in the city, where sporadic fighting has continued since last month’s Iraqi offensive.
There are also some 4,000 remaining British troops in the city, but Rye said reporters with them would be stuck in the airport and, “What good would it do?”
Officials said there was no timeline for when reporters would be allowed to embed again in Basra.