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US To Charge AP Photog/Collaborator

From an outraged Associated Press:

This photo taken by Bilal Hussein in Fallujah was part of a package of 20 that won the AP a Pulitzer Prize for Breaking News photography in 2005.

US Plans Case Against AP Photographer

By BRIAN MURPHY

NEW YORK (AP) — The U.S. military plans to seek a criminal case in an Iraqi court against an award-winning Associated Press photographer but is refusing to disclose what evidence or accusations would be presented.

An AP attorney on Monday strongly protested the decision, calling the U.S. military plans a “sham of due process.” The journalist, Bilal Hussein, has already been imprisoned without charges for more than 19 months.

A public affairs officer notified the AP on Sunday that the military intends to submit a written complaint against Hussein that would bring the case into the Iraqi justice system as early as Nov. 29. Under Iraqi codes, an investigative magistrate will decide whether there are grounds to try Hussein, 36, who was seized in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on April 12, 2006.

Dave Tomlin, associate general counsel for the AP, said the defense for Hussein is being forced to work “totally in the dark.”

The military has not yet defined the specific charges against Hussein. Previously, the military has pointed to a range of suspicions that attempt to link him to insurgent activity.

The AP rejects all the allegations and contends it has been blocked by the military from mounting a wide-ranging defense for Hussein, who was part of the AP’s Pulitzer Prize-winning photo team in 2005…

Calls for his freedom have been backed by groups such as the Committee to Protect Journalists…

Although it’s unclear what specific allegations may be presented against Hussein, convictions linked to aiding militants in Iraq could bring the death penalty, said Tomlin…

Previously, the military has outlined a host of possible lines of investigation, including claims that Hussein offered to provide false identification to a sniper seeking to evade U.S.-led forces and that Hussein took photographs that were synchronized with insurgent blasts.

The AP inquiry found no support for either of those claims. The bulk of the photographs Hussein provided the AP were not about insurgent activity; he detailed both the aftermath of attacks and the daily lives of Iraqis in the war zone. There was no evidence that any images were coordinated with the insurgents or showed the instant of an attack

The news from Iraq just keeps getting better and better.

We had occasion to mention the work of Mr. Hussein several times in the past. Including here, where we posted some more of Mr. Hussein’s award-winning photos:

The last two photos are of the heroic “insurgents” who kidnapped and then murdered the Italian national, Salvatore Santoro.

Previously, the military has pointed to a range of suspicions that attempt to link him to insurgent activity

How could anyone think such a thing?

There was no evidence that any images were coordinated with the insurgents or showed the instant of an attack.

Of course not. What a preposterous charge.

Still, it is great to see that this miscreant’s deeds may not go unrewarded.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, November 19th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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