Investigators looking into alleged Marine misconduct in late 2005 in Haditha, Iraq, have uncovered documents suggesting Marine commanders ignored initial reports that Marines killed 24 civilians, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
Three enlisted Marines have been charged in connection with the killings, and four officers face charges of failing to properly investigate the incident, according to the New York Times.
On Sunday, the Times reported that documents show Maj. Gen. R.A. Huck, 2nd Marine Division commander at the time of the incident, received an e-mail shortly after the incident that 15 civilians had been killed, “seven of which were women and kids.”
Huck later told investigators he did not recall getting word that civilians had been killed, the newspaper reported.
“I didn’t know at the time whether they were bad guys, noncombatants or whatever,” Huck said in an interview with investigators, according to the Times.
One of the officers charged in the case, Capt. Randy W. Stone, is slated to appear in court Tuesday at Camp Pendleton, Calif., the newspaper reported.
Stone told the Times that his superiors told him not to investigate reports of civilian deaths at Haditha.
“There is a certain level of disappointment that the Marine Corps decided that, in the entire chain of command, that I am the one who should be held accountable,” he told the newspaper.