Camp Pendleton, Calif. (AP) A Marine officer says the prosecution of seven other marines accused in the killings of 24 Iraqi civilians in Haditha is so politically motivated they cannot be guaranteed a fair trial.
Captain Jeffrey Dinsmore, who was the intelligence officer for the battalion accused in the killings two years ago, was called as a witness at the preliminary hearing for Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani, of Rangely, Colorado.
He is one of four officers charged with dereliction of duty for failing to investigate the deaths.
Dinsmore, whose testimony was videotaped in March, said he doubted prosecutors could be objective given the political climate surrounding the case, and said Chessani was “above reproach.''
The Haditha killings sparked the biggest criminal case against U.S. troops in the war in Iraq, with three enlisted marines charged with murder and the four officers accused of dereliction.