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Iraqi family sues ex-Blackwater guard

Associated Press / March 21, 2009
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RALEIGH, N.C. - The family of a slain Iraqi security guard says in a federal lawsuit that a former Blackwater contractor fatally shot the man while wandering drunk in Baghdad, and the survivors accuse the company of covering up wrongdoing while reneging on promises of compensation.

Raheem Khalaf Sa'adoon's wife and two children said Blackwater, the North Carolina-based company now known as Xe, destroyed documents to hide evidence of a pattern of recklessness. The lawsuit filed Thursday in the southern district of California also says the company promised to compensate the widow, Wijdan Mohsin Saed, in a series of payments but stopped after an initial payment of $20,000.

"She was expecting a continued stream of compensation," Susan Burke, a Washington-based lawyer for the family, said in an interview. "But, obviously, with killing the breadwinner of the family, they had essentially cut off her means of livelihood. She's a stay-at-home mom and doesn't have any other source of income."

The lawsuit names both Xe and the former Blackwater guard, Andrew Moonen. It says Moonen shot Sa'adoon without provocation on Christmas Eve 2006 after getting drunk at a party and then getting lost. Sa'adoon, 32, was on guard duty for Iraq's vice president.

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