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The Blackwater Killings Civil Suit VI

Case File: Civil Lawsuit for the February 7th, 2007 Killings

 

 

Estate of Sabah Salman Hassoon et al vs. Erik Prince, XE, Blackwater Worldwide et al

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Case No.: 1:09-cv-618-LMB-IDD

Filed on June 2nd, 2009

 

Prior to June 2nd, 2009:

Estate of Sabah Salman Hassoon et al vs. XE (Blackwater) et al

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California

Case No.: 3:09-cv-00647-L-JMA

Filed on April 1st, 2009

 

On July 17th, 2009 this case was consolidated with Blackwater Civil Cases, Nos. I, II, III, VII, VIII & IX.

 

July 20th, 2009 - Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plantiffs’ First Amended Complaint

July 17th, 2009 - Order

June 30th, 2009 - First Amended Complaint

June 12th, 2009 - Order Granting Enlargement of Time for Defendants to Answer Complaint

June 2nd, 2009 - Complaint

June 2nd, 2009 - Notice of Voluntary Dismissal

April 1st, 2009 - Complaint

 

 

July 20th, 2009 - Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss Plantiffs’ First Amended Complaint

 

“[…] Pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1), 12(b)(6), and 17(b)(3), Defendants hereby move to dismiss Plaintiffs’ First Amended Complaint. Dismissal is required for the following reasons: (1) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim under the Alien Tort Statute (28 U.S.C. § 1350) or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) (18 U.S.C. §§ 1961-62, 1964), and without these claims there is no basis for federal jurisdiction; (2) the Complaint presents nonjusticiable political questions; (3) Plaintiffs fail to state a claim under applicable Iraqi law; (4) Plaintiffs’ claims must be dismissed under the government contractor defense; (5) Plaintiffs’ claims are barred by absolute immunity; (6) Plaintiffs have not established capacity to sue; (7) Plaintiffs have failed to state a claim against certain Defendants; and (8) Plaintiffs have sued a non-legal entity.

 

“The grounds for Defendants’ Motion are set forth more fully in the accompanying Memorandum of Law. […]”

 

July 17th, 2009 - Order

 

“[…] It appears from a review of the record that this case presents certain legal issues essentially identical to those presented in four additional civil matters also pending in this division, namely 1:09cv616, 1:09cv617, 1:09cv618 and 1:09cv645. It also appears that all of the plaintiffs in these five related matters are represented by the same counsel, as are all of the defendants.

 

“Accordingly, for the reasons stated from the Bench, and for purposes of judicial economy, It is hereby ordered that civil actions 1:09cv616, 1:09cv617, 1:09cv618 and 1:09cv645, which actions are currently assigned to other judges in this division, are reassigned to the undersigned district judge for the limited purpose of discovery and pre-trial motions.

 

“It is further ordered that this matter is consolidated with 1:09cv616, 1:09cv617, 1:09cv618 and 1:09cv645 for all pretrial purposes, including discovery and dispositive motions. Whether the matters will ultimately require separate trials to be presided over by the originally assigned judges is a question that will be addressed at a later date. […]

 

“It is further ordered that defendants’ motion to stay discovery […] is granted and discovery in each of these five consolidated civil actions is accordingly stayed pending resolution of the motions to dismiss filed by defendants in these matters.

 

“It is further ordered that a hearing on all motions to dismiss filed by defendants in these five consolidated civil actions is scheduled for 2:00 p.m., Friday, August 28, 2009. […]”

 

June 30th, 2009 - First Amended Complaint

 

“[…] July 2007 Shooting

 

“50. On July 1, 2007, a driver named Wala’a was driving a minibus for three related families who were going to Baghdad airport to apply for passports. The three families included (a) parents with four children, including a three-month old baby; (b) an uncle; and (c) a cousin and his wife.

 

“51. As the families were returning from the airport, six Xe-Blackwater vehicles, including three with turrets, surrounded the minivan and opened fire for absolutely no reason.

 

“52. The Xe-Blackwater shooters killed the nine-year boy.

 

“53. The Xe-Blackwater shooters shot the mother in the back as she bent over, trying to protect the three-month old daughter from being shot. She was unsuccessful, as the baby was shot in the face. […]

 

“[…] February 2007 Shooting

 

“57. On February 4, 2007, Suhad Shakir Fadhil, a 37-years old female was driving to office, which was located near the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Suhad Shakir Fadhil worked in media relations, including at times working within the Green Zone for the United States Agency for International Development (‘AID’).

 

“58. Xe-Blackwater shooters shot Suhad Shakir Fadhil in the head as she drove to work. Ms. Fadhil died shortly after being shot. […]

 

“[…] March 2005 Shooting

 

“74. On March 22, 2005, Messrs. Al Qaysi and Al Rubae as well as another person were picked up at the Baghdad airport by a paid driver driving Mr. Al Rubae’s BMW.

 

“75. As the BMW traveled from the airport to Baghdad, Xe-Blackwater shooters began to fire on the BMW for no reason.

 

“76. Xe-Blackwater shooters shot Mr. Al Qaysi in the head, killing him.

 

“77. His widow and six children suffered and continue to suffer from the senseless and violent slaughter of Mr. Al Qaysi. […]”

 

June 12th, 2009 - Order Granting Enlargement of Time for Defendants to Answer Complaint

 

“[…] This matter having come before the Court on the Joint Motion of the parties for an enlargement of time, until and including July 13, 2009, within which Defendants may answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint, and good cause being shown therefor, it is hereby ordered that the motion is granted; and it is further ordered that Defendants shall file an answer or other response to the Complaint on or before July 13, 2009.

 

“So ordered. […]”

 

June 2nd, 2009 - Complaint

 

“[…] 22. On February 7, 2007, approximately 20 Xe-Blackwater employees in four SUVs escorted a U.S. diplomat to a meeting at the Iraqi Justice Ministry outside the Green Zone. During the meeting, Blackwater shooters took up positions on the Justice Ministry’s roof.

 

“23. Across the street from the Iraqi Justice Ministry sits the compound of the Iraqi-Media Network, a state-owned and operated enterprise, which operates newspapers, radio stations and the al-Iraqiya television station. (The United States provides assistance to this network.) The rear gate to the Iraqi Media Network compound sits across the street from the Iraqi Justice Ministry. A traffic circle known as King Faisal Square separates the two compounds.

 

“24. The three deceased were guards for Iraqi Media Network, and were manning their guard stations on February 7, 2007.

 

“25. Xe-Blackwater shooters located on the roof across the street opened fire on Nibrass Mohammed Dawood, who was stationed on a balcony overlooking gate. The Xe-Blackwater shooters hit him, and he fell to the balcony floor. Xe-Blackwater shooters had no reason to shoot him.

 

“26. Several other guards heard the shot and saw Nibrass Mohammed Dawood fall. As they ran to his side to assist him, they too came under fire from the Xe-Blackwater shooters.

 

“27. Azhar Abdullah Ali and Sabah Salman Hassoon were among those who ran to assist Nibrass. Xe-Blackwater shooters shot them both as they were assisting Nibrass.

 

“28. The Iraqi Army commander at the site, Captain Ahmed Thamir Abood, received a phone call from the Justice Ministry telling him that the shots were coming from the Americans stationed on the roof of the Ministry.

 

“29. Captain Abood rushed toward the Justice Ministry, where he confronted the Xe-Blackwater shooters as they were preparing to leave. Captain Abdood questioned them about the shootings.

 

“30. Xe-Blackwater personnel refused to identify who was in charge or to answer Captain Abood’s questions. They joked among themselves, giving contradictory statements regarding to whom the Captain should speak. Instead of answering questions posed by the Iraqi military captain, Xe-Blackwater shooters loaded up their vehicles, released smoke grenades and sped off toward the Green Zone.

 

“31. The families later discovered from Iraqi police reports that Xe-Blackwater had been involved in the shootings, and that the shootings were described as ‘an act of terrorism.’

 

“32. Xe-Blackwater failed to conduct any investigation whatsoever into the shootings.

 

“33. Instead, Xe-Blackwater conspired with the shooters to protect their identities from discovery and to evade any accountability. […]”

 

June 2nd, 2009 - Notice of Voluntary Dismissal

 

“[…] Pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 41(a)(1)(i), Plaintiffs voluntarily dismiss without prejudice their claims against all Defendants. […]”

 

April 1st, 2009 - Complaint

 

“[…] 23. On February 7, 2007, approximately twenty (20) Xe-Blackwater employees in four SUVs escorted a U.S. diplomat to a meeting at the Iraqi Justice Ministry outside the Green Zone. During the meeting, Blackwater shooters took up positions on the Justice Ministry’s roof.

 

“24. Across the street from the Iraqi Justice Ministry sits the compound of the Iraqi Media Network, a state-owned and operated enterprise, which operates newspapers, radio stations and the al-Iraqiya television station. (The United States provides assistance to this network.) The rear gate to the Iraqi Media Network compound sits across the street from the Iraqi Justice Ministry. A traffic circle known as King Faisal Square separates the two compounds.

 

“25. The three (3) deceased were guards for Iraqi Media Network, and were manning their guard stations on February 7, 2007.

 

“26. Xe-Blackwater shooters located on the roof across the street opened fire on Nibrass Mohammed Dawood, who was stationed on a balcony overlooking gate. The Xe-Blackwater shooters hit him, and he fell to the balcony floor. Xe-Blackwater shooters had no reason to shoot him.

 

“27. Several other guards heard the shot and saw Nibrass Mohammed Dawood fall. As they ran to his side to assist him, they too came under fire from the Xe-Blackwater shooters.

 

“28. Azhar Abdullah Ali and Sabah Salman Hassoon were among those who ran to assist Nibrass. Xe-Blackwater shooters shot them both as they were assisting Nibrass.

 

“29. The Iraqi Army commander at the site, Captain Ahmed Thamir Abood, received a phone call from the Justice Ministry telling him that the shots were coming from the Americans stationed on the roof of the Ministry.

 

“30. Captain Abood rushed toward the Justice Ministry, where he confronted the Xe-Blackwater shooters as they were preparing to leave. Captain Abdood questioned them about the shootings.

 

“31. Xe-Blackwater personnel refused to identify who was in charge or to answer Captain Abood’s questions. They joked among themselves, giving contradictory statements regarding to whom the Captain should speak. Instead of answering questions posed by the Iraqi military captain, Xe-Blackwater shooters loaded up their vehicles, released smoke grenades and sped off toward the Green Zone. […]”

 

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