| GEO World|
| US military judge refuses to throw out Iraqi killings case|
| Updated at: 0136 PST, Saturday, March 27, 2010|
CAMP PENDLETON: A US military judge Friday threw out a bid to dismiss charges against a former squadron leader accused of a role in the 2005 killings of 24 Iraqi civilians.
Staff Sergeant Frank Wuterich is the last Marine still charged in the case as prosecutors have struggled to make the allegations stick. So far the other seven accused were either acquitted or had charges withdrawn before court martial.
But judge Lieutentant Colonel David Jones said Friday the "motion to dismiss charges against the former aquad leader Sgt. Frank Wuterich is denied.
"There was no improper influence flowing upwards or downwards," the judge added.
Wuterich faces multiple charges of voluntary manslaughter for his role in the deaths, which occurred after a deadly roadside bombing that claimed the life of a Marine in Haditha, 260 kilometers (140 miles) west of Baghdad, in 2005.
Many of the victims were unarmed men, women and children.