October 23, 2011
In a shocking development, John Hugya, former aide to the late Congressman John Murtha, announced his support for SSgt Frank D. Wuterich, the last of the Haditha Marines awaiting exoneration.
The statements by John Hugya were reported by Philip Petrunak in the Somerset County Daily American on October 20, 2011.
According to the article, Hugya said “that he supports Wuterich and believes he should be exonerated. Hugya added that if Wuterich is convicted, the president should pardon him.”
In May 2006, Hugya’s boss at the time, John Murtha, charged that SSgt Wuterich had led a squad of rampaging Marines in Haditha, killing civilians in ‘cold blood.’
By 2008, seven of the eight Marines charged in the incident had been exonerated. Only one Marine, Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, still awaits trial.
SSgt Wuterich’s trial is scheduled to commence on January 4, 2012, a date after all US forces reportedly will leave Iraq. As DOM previously reported (see SSgt Frank Wuterich and Our Future in Iraq, the entire Haditha fiasco affected negotiations at the very highest level with Iraqi officials over the continued presence of American troops in that country.