Court Martial Begins Next Week

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A Fort Carson soldier accused in the alleged drowning of an Iraqi civilian earlier this year will face a court martial next week.

First Lieutenant Jack Saville will go on trial October 26th. A second soldier, Sergeant First Class Tracy Perkins, will face court-martial in January. Both trials will take place at Fort Hood, Texas.

Neither Saville nor Perkins entered a plea during a court appearance at the Central Texas Army installation on Tuesday.

The soldiers are charged with involuntary manslaughter, assault, making false official statements and obstruction of justice.

Both soldiers are assigned to the Third Brigade Combat Team, based at Fort Carson. The unit is part of the Fourth Infantry Division, headquartered at Fort Hood.

The Army and family members of 19-year-old Zaidoun Hassoun contend he died near the Iraqi city of Samarra. They say the soldiers forced him and his cousin to jump into the Tigris River on January 3rd.

The cousin survived, but prosecutors say Hassoun drowned, even though Army investigators have never seen his body.

The Army dropped conspiracy charges against Saville and Perkins last month amid complaints that higher-ranking soldiers were treated more leniently.