Hearing To Reopen for Marine Officer

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Two possible new charges will be considered next week at a hearing for the leader of a battalion involved in the killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha.

Forty-three-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Chessani of Rangely, Colorado, is the highest ranking of seven Marines charged in the deaths.

Chessani's attorney says the general overseeing the case agreed to reopen the case after Marine prosecutors recommended Chessani face two new counts of dereliction of duty.

Chessani already faces two counts of dereliction of duty and one count of violation of a lawful order for failing to investigate the deaths.

Charges against Chessani stem from alleged failing to accurately report information about the killings and for failing to launch an investigation.

The killings took place November 19, 2005, when a Marine squad was attacked by a deadly roadside bomb.

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