US security firm Blackwater on Jan. 6 reached a settlement agreement in seven federal lawsuits filed by Iraqi citizens. The suits claimed that Blackwater, now known as Xe, created a reckless culture that resulted in numerous deaths, including the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in September 2007 and the 2006 killing of an Iraqi guard. The suits accused Blackwater founder Erik Prince of personal responsibility. The terms of the settlement have not been made public, but Xe said in a statement that it is “pleased” with the resolution.
The settlement comes just a week after after a US judge dismissed charges against five guards indicted for their involvement in the September 2007 killings. Earlier this week, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Iraq will file lawsuits in both US and Iraqi courts against the guards. (Jurist, Jan. 7)
See our last posts on Iraq and the Blackwater scandals.