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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 March, 2005, 01:13 GMT
US soldier jailed over assaults
Jack Saville
Saville was sentenced by a US military court in Texas
A US army lieutenant has been sentenced to 45 days in jail for his part in assaults against three Iraqi civilians forced into the River Tigris.

A court martial in Fort Hood, Texas, on Tuesday found Lt Jack Saville guilty of assaulting one man near the town of Balad in December 2003.

Earlier he had pleaded guilty in connection with another incident in Samarra in January 2004.

Prosecutors say two men were forced into the river, and one drowned.

The incident took place after the pair allegedly violated a curfew, the Associated Press reports.

Saville had initially been charged with manslaughter in the reported death of one of the two, Zaidoun Hassoun.

But the charge - along with counts of conspiracy and lying to investigators - was dropped in a plea deal, AP says.

Under the terms of the reported deal, Saville agreed to testify against a higher-ranking officer.

The officer allegedly ordered Saville and other soldiers to execute certain Iraqi suspects if they caught them, according to AP.

Another officer was cleared in January of the killing of Hassoun, but convicted of assault and obstruction of justice. Sgt Tracy Perkins was sentenced to six months.

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