Lawyer: Iraqi POW Allegedly Killed by Marines Had Gun

A Baath Party (searchofficial who died at a U.S. military camp in Iraq had been caught with a gun from the ambushed Army unit that included Pfc. Jessica Lynch (search), according to an attorney.

The military is investigating alleged abuses of Nagem Sadoon Hatab (searchand other detainees at Camp Whitehorse, a detention facility near Nasiriyah (search). Eight Marines are under investigation.

A lawyer for one of the men, Lance Cpl. William Roy, said he determined that the Iraqi was captured May 3 with an M-16 belonging to the 507th Maintenance Company, to which Lynch belonged. Donald G. Rehkopf filed documents Thursday seeking information on the weapon.

Marine spokesman 1st Lt. Dan Rawson said that it appears Hatab may have had an M-16 or other weapons belonging to the company.

Rawson did not know the date of Hatab's capture or other details of his detention. There was no indication of how Hatab came to possess the weapon.

Roy faces a preliminary hearing, known as an Article 32 proceeding. He is accused of dereliction of duty, cruelty and maltreatment, and five counts of assault. The attorney said his client is accused of striking Hatab but did not elaborate.

Two men are charged with negligent homicide in Hatab's death, Lance Cpl. Christian Hernandez and his superior officer, Maj. Clark A. Paulus.

Hatab, 52, suffocated in June after Hernandez allegedly grabbed him by the neck and broke his hyoid bone, a U-shaped bone that supports the tongue, according to a military investigation. Investigators say Hernandez was trying to move Hatab when he grabbed his neck, but that there is no indication the lance corporal intended to kill the Iraqi.

Hernandez and Paulus also face Article 32 hearings to determine whether they will be court-martialed.

The eight Marines are part of the 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, based in Worcester, Mass. They were assigned to Camp Pendleton north of San Diego for the investigation.

Lynch's unit was ambushed March 23 in Nasiriyah, Iraq. Eleven soldiers were killed and six were captured. All six, including Lynch, were rescued.