Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Iraqi officials say video discredits rape claim

The 20-year-old Sunni woman says she was detained by Shi'ite Iraqi police at her Baghdad home and accused of helping Sunni insurgents. She was then taken to a police station where she was raped by three policemen before American soldiers arrived and took her away. Al-Maliki insists the charge is a political ploy by Sunni politicians to discredit the police and security crackdown in Baghdad. He also announced an unspecified "reward" for the accused officers. U.S. spokesman William Caldwell confirmed that "an Iraqi woman" was brought to the U.S.-run hospital but gave no details of her treatment.

BAGHDAD, Iraq - The case of an Iraqi woman who went on Arabic satellite television last month to charge that three Iraqi policemen raped her continues to roil the country, and government officials are now debating whether to release a video that they say will show the episode was a fabrication.

The Shiite Muslim-led government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki already has called the woman a liar and leaked information to discredit her. Officials have released her name, said she worked as a prostitute in the 1990s and accused her of bigamy.

On Monday, four Iraqi officials said that the woman, who at first was thought to be a Sunni, was a Shiite and that she was detained two days after she made her allegations. Three of the officials said the government has a taped confession from the woman in which she says she was paid by the Iraqi Islamic Party, one of Iraq's most important Sunni organizations, to fabricate the story in an effort to undermine the Baghdad security plan.

Read the rest at the Contra Costa Times

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