Attorneys for a Marine charged in the killing of Iraqi civilians in Haditha want the U.S. military to look into the leak of an investigative report to the news media.
The Washington Post published photos and information from the investigative file this month that had not previously been made public, one showing five Iraqis sprawled near a taxi.
“This leak was inexcusable and unethical and very clearly presents a publicly unfavorable portrait of our client,” lawyers for Staff Sgt. Frank D. Wuterich wrote.
Wuterich is one of two Marines charged with murder in the five deaths.
The lawyers asked Marine Lt. Gen. James Mattis to have the Naval Criminal Investigative Service find out who leaked the investigative report to the newspaper.
The impact of the leak, Wuterich’s lawyers said, could taint the integrity of any court-martial proceeding.
The Haditha investigation stemming from the Nov. 19, 2005, killings is the biggest U.S. criminal case involving civilian deaths so far in the Iraq war.