Charges Dropped Against Iraqi Officials Accused In Sectarian Killing

 An Iraqi court is dropping charges, at least for now, against two former Iraqi government officials accused of allowing Shiite death squads to use ambulances and government hospitals to carry out kid
(AP Photo/Alaa al-Marjani)
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Baghdad (AP) An Iraqi court is dropping charges, at least for now, against two former Iraqi government officials accused of allowing Shiite death squads to use ambulances and government hospitals to carry out kidnappings and killings.

Attorneys say the officials were released due to lack of evidence. However, the charges could be reinstated if prosecutors successfully appeal.

The trial began yesterday after a delay because witnesses failed to show up for the start of the case last month. Officials at the time did not say why the witnesses did not appear but noted Iraq does not have a witness protection program.

The two were accused of using their positions to help a militia loyal to anti-U.S. cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr carry out sectarian killings.