Thursday, July 3, 2008

US Seen as Likely to Stand By Contractors

The United States government is highly unlikely to abandon its private security contractors to Iraq's dysfunctional justice system, according to a news report.

The Virginian-Pilot, a Norfolk newspaper close to Blackwater Worldwide's headquarters that has been biased against the company, cites Hofstra University Law School Professor Scott Horton (pictured) as saying that even if the US agrees to end immunity for contractors in Iraq, the State Department could still protect them legally under existing international law.

"Horton said that, given the spotty record of Iraq's nascent court system, it would not be surprising if the United States wanted to extend legal safeguards to Americans working in Iraq," the Virginian-Pilot reports. "US troops and private contractors in many other countries, including South Korea, Germany and Japan, often are protected from courts in those countries under status-of-forces agreements, he noted."

Horton, a contributor to Harper's magazine, is a recognized international human rights lawyer and authority on armed conflicts.

Private US citizens working abroad under contract for the American government can still be prosecuted at home if they are suspected of violating the law.

No comments: