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Iraq's Maliki says Wikileaks documents could be used in court

But ordinary Iraqis didn't seem to immediately grasp that the 400,000 Wikileaks documents could provide details on the deaths of thousands of people.

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The trove of leaked secret US military documents filtered its way through top levels in Iraq on Saturday, with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki saying they could be used as evidence in court cases and the US denying that it turned a blind eye to torture.

For ordinary Iraqis, it didn't appear to have sunk in that the 400,000 documents, released Friday by the WikiLeaks website, contained details of the deaths of thousands of people that could finally provide answers and even evidence for some of the tragedies of the war.

The documents include indications of widespread Iraqi abuse of prisoners seemingly unaddressed by US forces, a much higher Iraqi death toll than had been admitted, including among Iraqis killed at US checkpoints, and fears of Iranian influence.

The US military said it won't comment on the specifics of the documents, which it maintains remain secret despite now being in the public domain.

The deputy commander of US forces in Iraq denied the implication in many of the documents that US forces witnessing abuse or torture of detainees by their Iraqi captors had turned a blind eye.

"It is not a gray area," Lt. General Robert Cone told the Monitor in an interview Saturday. "We have an obligation when we see something like this that it is reported, and it is dealt with with our Iraqi counterparts."

He said he hadn't seen the documents.

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