RealNews

Cleric accused of ordering followers to kill rival

Based on an extensive investigation by an Iraqi judge, Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr will face charges in connection with five slayings and the plundering of money donated to mosques in southern Iraq, a coalition legal adviser said Tuesday. In the first detailed account of the charges against Sadr, the adviser laid out a grisly tale of conspiracy to murder another Shiite religious leader, Said Abdul Majid al-Khoei, after he returned from exile in London within days of the April fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. The charges also allege involvement in the slaying of two al-Khoei associates and the shooting deaths by Sadr guards of two men and a pregnant woman as they drove past Sadr’s Najaf home on their way to a hospital last year. Paul Bremer, head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, said Monday that Sadr was “outside the law” because of his attempts to assert authority over the U.S.-led administration and the incoming Iraqi interim government, scheduled to assume control of the country June 30. Full Story

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