Page last updated at 19:50 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 20:50 UK

Marine faces trial for Iraq death

US Marines in Iraq (file image)

A US marine is to face a court martial for the killing of an unarmed Iraqi prisoner four years ago.

Sgt Ryan Weemer is the third US soldier to be named in connection with the incident, which occurred during heavy fighting in the city of Falluja.

Sgt Weemer had already been charged but a judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for a murder trial to proceed.

The US media have reported that a number of insurgents died during the battle for Falluja.

Sgt Weemer was a member of Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, based at Camp Pendleton, who allegedly killed several unarmed Iraqi captives being held captive in an abandoned house in Falluja.

He has been charged with unpremeditated murder and dereliction of duty after Lt Gen Samuel Helland ruled he had knowingly failed to follow correct procedures on the handling of unarmed detainees.

Another Marine, Sgt Jermaine Nelson, is due to answer similar charges at court martial in connection with the incident, and a third soldier, Jose Nazario, is awaiting trial for manslaughter.

Falluja was the scene of fierce fighting between insurgents and forces led by US marines in April and November 2004.

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