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Anonymous releases law firm's emails about Haditha killings

Hacked lawyers who defended Marine over Iraqi deaths

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Anonymous has leaked a trove of emails relating to the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians at Haditha after hacking into a law firm's systems.

The hacktivists claim to have made off with a 2.6GB email spool after breaking into the systems of Puckett Faraj, the law firm that represents Frank Wuterich, 31, the Marine staff sergeant at one point accused of manslaughter over events in Haditha, Iraq.

A total of 24 Iraqi non-combatants, including women and children, were killed in Haditha in November 2005. The event started out as an anti-insurgency operation following a roadside bombing.

The emails, released as a torrent and with extracts published on Pastebin, include transcripts of testimony, evidence from the trial and defence donation records.

The website of Puckett Faraj remains unavailable at Monday lunchtime and the firm itself has neither confirmed nor denied the alleged security breach. AFP reports that the website of the firm was defaced on Friday at the same time as as the alleged email hack, with a note from Anonymous saying the group wanted to expose the "brutality of US imperialism".

Eight soldiers were charged over the incident in Haditha, but by the end of 2008, the cases against six were dropped, while a seventh was found not guilty.

Manslaughter charges against Wuterich were also dropped, but he was convicted of negligent dereliction of duty over the incident in 24 January, receiving a demotion and pay cut but avoiding a custodial sentence as part of a plea bargaining deal. ®

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