Justice a no-show at rape, assault hearing

Dec. 19, 2007 at 4:55 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- U.S. Justice Department officials skipped a congressional hearing Wednesday dealing with allegations of rape and sexual assault of female contractors in Iraq.

"I'm embarrassed that the Department of Justice can't even come forward," House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., said.

Testifying before the committee was Jamie Leigh Jones, who alleged she was gang-raped in her room at a KBR camp in Iraq, then told if she sought medical treatment outside of Iraq, she'd be unemployed, ABC reported.

No one has been prosecuted.

The Justice Department said it is "investigating this matter," ABC reported.

Jones has sued Halliburton and KBR. KBR said it offered Jones support and assistance. Halliburton said it is improperly named in the suit.

Jones' congressman, Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, told the committee he hasn't received answers when he's asked for a status report from either Justice or State departments.

"It is interesting to note that the Department of Justice has thousands of lawyers but not one from the barrage of lawyers is here to tell us what if anything they are doing. Their absence and silence speaks volumes about the hidden crimes in Iraq," Poe said.

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