The U.S. attorney in Los Angeles has filed charges against a former marine sergeant for his alleged role in the killing of eight unarmed Iraqi prisoners, it was reported on Thursday.
The defendant, who conducted the killing during a November 2004 battle in Fallouja, Iraq, is expected to appear in court today, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Jose Nazario, a former sergeant, is being charged in civilian court because he is no longer a Marine. Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents are examining allegations against other members of Nazario's squad, who are still in the Marine Corps, but referred Nazario's case to the U.S. attorney, sources were quoted as saying.
The investigation involves the same company -- Kilo Company, 3rd Battalion, 1st Regiment -- that is the focus of the worst alleged atrocity in Iraq, the killing of 24 civilians in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, said the paper.
Nazario enlisted in the Marines in September 1997 and left as a sergeant in October 2005.