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Judge Finds Evidence of Conflict in Haditha Case

Lawyers for a Marine officer charged with failing to investigate a squad's killings of 24 Iraqis in Haditha say a military judge has found evidence of undue command influence over the case.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani claims a military lawyer who investigated the November 2005 killings had a conflict of interest when he later advised generals overseeing the Haditha trials.

Defense attorney Brian Rooney said Wednesday that the judge stated in a preliminary ruling Tuesday that the military adviser created both the fact and the appearance of a conflict.

Rooney says he plans to ask the judge to dismiss the case at a hearing June 2 at Camp Pendleton.

Chessani is from Rangely, Colo.

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