Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Marine Apologizes for Iraqi's Slaying

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A Marine told a military court at his sentencing Wednesday that he was "very truly sorry" for his role in the killing of an Iraqi civilian last spring.

Pfc. John J. Jodka III was part of a squad of seven Marines and a Navy corpsman accused of kidnapping a man in the town of Hamdania, west of Baghdad, taking him to a roadside hole and shooting him, then trying to cover up the killing.

Jodka, 20, pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to assault and conspiracy to obstruct justice and agreed to testify. In exchange, prosecutors dropped other charges including murder.

Speaking in a firm voice, Jodka said he was sorry for the pain and suffering he caused the family of 52-year-old Hashim Ibrahim Awad, and for the troubles he caused his own family.

"Thirdly, I apologize to my Marine Corps whose highest ideals I have failed to uphold," Jodka said.

A prison term established in the pretrial agreement had not yet been revealed. In this process the judge does not know the terms of the deal. If sentenced by the judge to a longer term, Jodka would not be liable to serve the extra time. ......

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