A year after Reuters soundman Waleed Khaled was killed by American troops, the global news group this week called for an official military investigation.
An independent inquiry commissioned by Reuters concluded that the shooting of Khaled on 28 August in Iraq was “unlawful”.
But according to Reuters, the official Pentagon response remains that the firing of shots at Khaled’s car was “appropriate”.
Reuters says its independent report into the death of Khaled showed discrepancies between the evidence of a soldier and his commander. The report also criticised the US military for “losing” video footage shot by a Reuters cameraman injured in the incident.
Managing editor for Reuters Europe, Middle East and Africa Michael Lawrence said: “The Defense Department has ignored the independent report, which concluded that US soldiers breached their rules of engagement and the shooting of Waleed was prima facie unlawful.
“Reuters calls on the US government to conduct a full and objective investigation into the death of Waleed Khaled.”
According to the Reuters report, written by a former British military investigator working for the Risk Advisory Group, soldiers fired from a rooftop at Khaled, 33, and cameraman Haider Kadhem, 23, as they sat in a stationary car while Kadhem filmed the aftermath of an attack on a police patrol.
The report claims that the soldiers went on firing as “Khaled — to show he posed no threat — reversed the car”.
The report continues: “Witnesses and ballistic evidence indicated that some of the 18 bullets to hit the car had been fired after it came to a halt. The soldiers said they thought Kadhem’s palm-held camera might have been a grenade launcher, but were not sure.”
Khaled, a former Iraqi army major, left a wife and daughter, and his son was born two months after Khaled’s death.