U.S. Marines hire lawyers over Iraq probe

Sept. 21, 2006 at 2:49 PM

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif., Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Before the U.S. military makes public its probe into the killing of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha last fall, most of the Marines involved have hired lawyers.

The news came from Houston lawyers Jack Zimmermann and Kyle Sampson, who announced they were representing one of the Marines based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., the San Diego Union-Tribune reported Thursday.

Only one other Marine has been named as part of the probe, and he retained counsel immediately, although Zimmerman and Sampson said they were aware many of the other unidentified Marines were following suit.

Eugene Fidell, who specializes in military law at the firm of Feldesman Tucker Leifer Fidell in Washington said it was a wise move.

"I think someone who is looking at charges is smart to lawyer up early," Fidell said.

The probe was examining reports alleging children and adults were gunned down in a vengeful fury in the town after a roadside bomb killed a Marine on Nov. 19.

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