Posted by: Tony Carson | 9 October, 2007

Is Blackwater toast in Iraq?

Last week, Blackwater founder and CEO Erik Prince seemed to escape a Capital Hill inquiry into Blackwater’s affairs in Iraq  relatively unscathed. Today, he is being scathed.

Iraq has demanded that the US end its association with private security firm Blackwater within six months.

It accuses Blackwater guards of having deliberately fired on Iraqi civilians, killing 17 and injuring more than 20, reports the BBC in Iraq tells US to ditch Blackwater.

The government has demanded Blackwater pay $8m compensation to each family bereaved by last month’s shootings.

Private security employees are immune from prosecution in Iraq, but an FBI investigation into the killings raises the prospect of trials in the US.

The new details of Iraq’s demands were outlined in an official report issued on Monday in Arabic and subsequently translated by international news agencies.

Blackwater denies its men acted improperly, while Washington, which depends on the company to protect its embassy staff in Baghdad, has declined to comment on the Iraqi report.

Will the wishes of the Iraqi government trump the demands of the US government? Will Blackwater be forced to fork over the $8 million per casualty rather than the $15,000 it has already paid? Will the wishes of the Iraqi government have any clout at all? Stay tuned.

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