Source AP ©

Widow calls U.S. compensation payment "humiliation"

The widow of the Kyrgyz civilian killed by a U.S. serviceman at an American base called a US$55,000 (EUR41,000) compensation payment a "humiliation" and said that she wants US$1 million (EUR740,000) in damages.

Alexander Ivanov, a truck driver, was fatally shot by a serviceman in December during a security check at the entrance to the Manas air base near the Central Asian nation's capital, Bishkek, that supports operations in Afghanistan.

An unspecified amount was paid Monday to Ivanova's widow, Marina Ivanova, base spokesman Capt. Tim Wade said. In a statement, base commander Col. Joel Scott Reese said the United States "recognizes her emotional and financial hardships."

"It is for this reason that the Secretary of Defense is providing monetary assistance to her and her family," Reese said in the statement. "It is hoped that this final gesture of goodwill will ease her difficulties associated with this tragic event."

Wade confirmed that no further payments are planned and said the amount was not being disclosed in the interest of Ivanova's privacy. Ivanova, however, said it was US$55,000 (EUR41,000) and dismissed it as an effort to dissuade her from seeking more.

"This is the latest handout, a humiliation. I do not consider it a gesture of goodwill - the (U.S. defense secretary) does not want me to demand anything more," she told The Associated Press. She said she would not withdraw a claim her lawyer said was filed in January for US$1 million.

Wade said he could not immediately comment on the claim.

The U.S. ambassador said earlier this month that the serviceman involved had been sent home but remained under investigation in connection with the shooting. The U.S. military has said Ivanov threatened the serviceman with a knife.

Kyrgyz investigators earlier concluded that the serviceman did not act in self defense and recommended he face criminal prosecution in the ex-Soviet republic, despite the immunity granted to U.S. servicemen deployed here.

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