Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
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Dead and gone
US marine cleared of Iraq killing: Lt Ilario Pantano says he acted in self-defence during the shooting
The US Marine Corps has dismissed charges against a marine accused of murdering suspected Iraqi insurgents.
Lt Ilario Pantano, a former Wall Street trader, had been accused of unjustifiably gunning the two men to death in April 2004.
The prosecution said Lt Pantano had intended to make an example of the men by shooting them more than 60 times.
The Marine Corps said that after investigating the incident it had decided to drop all the charges.
"The best interests of 2nd Lt Pantano and the government have been served by this process," the Marine Corps said in a statement.
The bodies of the two Iraqi men who were killed in the incident were examined as part of the investigation.
Lt Pantano, who rejoined the army after the 11 September attacks, would have faced the death penalty if he had been found guilty of premeditated murder.
An investigating officer said that Lt Pantano had made "serious errors in tactical judgement" during the incident.
The officer recommended that Lt Pantano face non-judicial punishment for desecrating the bodies of the two men when he reloaded his gun and continued to fire at them.
The prosecution said that Lt Pantano had then hung a sign with a marine slogan reading "No better friend, no worse enemy" on the bodies.
Lt Pantano's maintained that he had acted in self-defence as the men had ignored his instructions and were about to attack him.