FORT CARSON, Colo. -- One of four soldiers charged with pushing two Iraqi civilians into a river, where one drowned, says he was ordered to do so and told what to tell officials, an Army investigator testified Wednesday.
Specialist Terry Bowman said he "was told by his chain of command what version to give" investigators, Sergeant Irene Cintron of the Army's Criminal Investigation Command said. Bowman said he was ordered to push the men into the Tigris River, Cintron said.
Defense attorneys said investigators only relied on relatives in concluding Zaidoun Fadel Hassoun, 19, drowned. They said insurgents faked deaths to embarrass US forces and get soldiers in trouble. Cintron said security concerns prevented her from verifying the claim at the scene. She said no autopsy was conducted, and no body was exhumed.
Sergeant First Class Tracy E. Perkins, 33, First Lieutenant Jack M. Saville, 24, and Sergeant Reggie Martinez, 24, are charged with involuntary manslaughter in the Jan. 3 death. Bowman, 21, is charged with assault for allegedly pushing the second man in the river. Hassoun's cousin, Marwan Fadel Hassoun, 23, survived. They face 5 to 26 years in prison.