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Iraqi inmates stuck with no judges

RAMADI, Iraq, May 28 (UPI) -- The U.S. military in Iraq is trying to get judges in Ramadi, who left the courts following death threats in 2005, to return to work.

A meeting last month between U.S. officials and 14 local judges "went very well, and we are making real progress towards the resumption of a judicial system," U.S. Army Maj. Ted Houdek, an army legal officer, told the Los Angeles Times.

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The lack of a court system has left Ramadi's cells overcrowded with inmates with no court date.

"But after I finish the interrogation, what can I do next? There are people brought here with no evidence, as a result of a family problem or a vendetta. But I can't release them on my own. ... The justice system should move a little faster," Iraqi police Capt. Abdul Rahman, who is in charge of the makeshift Ramadi jail, told the Times.

Rahman, speaking of an inmate who said he is wrongly accused of murder, said he'd like to see the Ramadi courts functioning so the man gets his day in court.

"He might be a killer, but he is still human," Rahman told the Times.

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