US media kills story that Iraqi PM executed 6 prisoners
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: The US media has surprisingly failed to pick up the shocking disclosure by Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s leading newspaper, that the Irqai Prime Minister Iyad Allawi personally executed six suspected insurgents in a Baghdad police station.
The story by award-winning Australian journalist Paul McGeough said that the prisoners were handcuffed and blindfolded, lined up against a courtyard wall and shot by the Iraqi PM. Dr Allawi is alleged to have told those around him that he wanted to send a clear message to the police on how to deal with insurgents. Two people allege they witnessed the killings and there are also claims the Iraqi interior minister and four American men were present.
An Australian television channel interviewed the reporter who is in Iraq telling him that the Allawi family had denied the story. He replied, “Well it’s a very contentious issue. What you have is two very solid eyewitness accounts. Each witness is not aware that the other spoke.”
The Australian journalist said, “Well, I’ll take you through what the two witnesses said to give you the full chronology as I understand it. There was a surprise visit at about 10:30am to the police centre. The PM talked to policemen and then toured the complex. They came to a courtyard where six, sorry seven prisoners were lined up against a wall. They were blindfolded, they were described to me as an Iraqi colloquialism for the fundamentalist foreign fighters who came to Baghdad. They have that classic look that you see with many of the Osama Bin Laden associates of the scraggly beard and the very short hair and they were a sort of ... took place in front of them as they were up against this wall was an exchange between the interior minister and Dr Allawi, saying that he felt like killing them on the spot.
The interior minister expressed the wish that he would like to kill all these men on the spot. The PM is said to have responded that they deserved worse than death. At that point, he is said to have pulled a gun and proceeded to aim at and shoot all seven. Six of them died, the seventh, according to one witness, was wounded in the chest. On the incident date, the correspondent said, “It happened on or around the weekend of June 19/20 — three weeks after Dr Allawi was named PM and one week before the handover.”