19 Apr 2007

Former Fiji soldier says he saw Americans shoot Iraqis for target practice

7:01 pm on 19 April 2007

A former Fijian soldier who served as a private security guard in Iraq and claims to have witnessed Americans shooting Iraqi civilians for target practice says he fears for his life if he goes to America to testify about it in court.

The Daily Post says the case reached the US courts after an investigation was carried out by the US Army and the company which employed Fijian Isireli Naucukidi as well the American guards involved, Triple Canopy.

Mr Naucukidi says he has told the Americans he would be in fear of his life if he goes to America.

He says instead they should come to Fiji to take his statement or he could file it through the High Court in Suva.

The case was highlighted by the Washington Post newspaper which sent a reporter to Fiji to get the story from Mr Naucukidi.

Mr Naucukidi says he saw the American squad leader of the group he was part of, Jacob Washbourne, shoot a 70-year old Iraqi taxi driver as target practice and then laughed after being told it was a nice shot.

Mr Naucukidi says the other Americans in the group saw the shooting as fun with another two such shootings happening the same day.

The shootings happened on July 8th last year as the security guards travelled out of the Green Zone in Baghdad in an armoured vehicle.