Featured News

...And Justice for All

7 Feb 2008 | Sgt. Nathaniel C. LeBlanc

Court is in session. City officials and Marines from 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 1 were present for the ribbon cutting ceremony and grand opening of the Karma City Courthouse Feb. 7.

 The courthouse is another step closer into the direction of stability for the city, providing justice for all its citizens.

 “It’s a major accomplishment,” said Capt. Quintin Jones, company commander, Co. L., 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines. “We see the completion of a triad… the government, law, and now the judicial system. Today, Karma is able to work at 100 percent and not have to send its cases to Fallujah anymore.”

 The original courthouse was significantly damage during the war and was moved to a local library. With the support of RCT-6 and RCT-1, the Marines helped with the rehabilitation process and getting the judicial system back on its feet. Local contractors were hired for the job, taking only two months to complete at a cost of $83,000.

 “It’s well beyond any expectations I had for Iraq,” said the Memphis, Tenn., native. “It’s my third deployment here, and being able to see the speed of the progress is unbelievable. Going from a dysfunctional city to a fully functional city over night is impressive.”

 With the addition of the re-built courthouse, the city also received a new prosecutor judge who was present for the occasion.

 Judge Walid Hassan, a recent graduate from the Law Institute in Baghdad, said he is looking forward to working for Karma and its citizens, and has high hopes for the following years to come.

 “The courts in Iraq have a bright future under the new directions of the central government which supports the judicial system, and specifically in the region of Karma,” Judge Walid said. “Now the court can play a larger role in the life of its citizens. Before, people used the old style of resolving cases and lawsuits between them by going to the sheiks of the tribes who would then play the role of judge.”

 The ceremony was a momentous event and a sign of the times, where city leaders and officials came together to show unity, and the support they have for the newly installed judicial system.

 “Today, the city of Karma is speaking with one voice,” Jones said. “The chairman of the city counsel, the mayor, Sheik Mi’shan, Iraqi Police chief, Judge Walid and the commanding officer of 3rd Bn., 3rd Marines were all present. None of this could have been possible if it weren’t for the sacrifices of the Marines and Iraqis throughout the past four years.”