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Slain contractor's brother doesn't blame Iraqis


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Tom Zovko's brother, Jerry, was killed in Fallujah on Wednesday.

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CNN's Bill Hemmer talks to Tom Zovko about the loss of brother Jerry Zovko, 32, one of the U.S. contractors killed in a brutal attack in Fallujah, Iraq. (April 2)
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(CNN) -- Four employees of a private security contractor were brutally killed and their bodies mutilated by a mob Wednesday in Fallujah, Iraq, as they worked to provide security for a convoy delivering U.S. government food.

Tom Zovko's brother Jerry was one of the men killed in the attack. He spoke Friday morning to CNN anchor Bill Hemmer about his slain brother and the work that private contractors do in Iraq.

HEMMER: My sympathies to you. How are you doing?

ZOVKO: Good, considering.

HEMMER: Tell me about your brother.

ZOVKO: A unique individual, a great person. I can't say anything bad about him.

HEMMER: Age 32 from Willoughby, Ohio.

ZOVKO: He's actually from Euclid. We grew up in Euclid.

HEMMER: How long had he been in Iraq?

ZOVKO: He's been there since September of 2003.

HEMMER: What did he say about the work he was doing there?

ZOVKO: Well, he was there doing what needed to be done. He was, you know, in the military, and when he got out of the military, and I believe it was in '97, he continued in a military-type career in special security, consulting, contracting. He was a bodyguard, among other things ....

He spent a lot of time in the Middle East when he was in the service. And when he got out of the service, he had some connections, met some friends there and worked internationally, really.

And this last time when he left in September, he came to see me and my family before he left, when he had a chance to take a vacation. And when he left, he said, you know, he wanted to go and do what he could to make it a better place.

HEMMER: Wow. How have the pictures and the coverage influenced you this past week?

ZOVKO: It's -- I have mixed emotions, extremely mixed emotions. I try not to think about them. But I think they are necessary to show everyone what's going on and what .... He went there to prevent something like this.

HEMMER: The pictures are one thing, and the brutality and the details of the story are another. Have you had time to reflect on that?

ZOVKO: No ... it still hasn't sunk in.

HEMMER: Do you blame the Iraqi people?

ZOVKO: No, no, no, no.

HEMMER: What do you consider now about the situation you hear in Fallujah?

ZOVKO: I firmly agree with most of the officials that this is a small percentage, you know, of the people that want to keep it the way it was, you know. And these are the type of people that would do something like this. That's how they kept it the way it was, by keeping control over the people by doing stuff like this.

I firmly believe that and so did my brother. You know, he was for freedom and you know, for human rights for everybody, equality for everybody, you know?

HEMMER: How do you rationalize a resolution in Iraq? There are some who suggest this could be a war that goes on for a decade.

ZOVKO: ... I firmly believe what needs to be done, needs to be done. Now, I know that's a cliché, but this occurred. This happened to my brother because, without getting too political, the war should not have been called "over." ...Maybe the political war, but not the war with the factions that still exist.

HEMMER: You sound as if you feel there's a commitment there that should be fulfilled.

ZOVKO: Exactly. My brother and I both feel you don't start something you don't intend to finish. And you don't do anything ... halfway.

HEMMER: There are three others involved in that convoy of two vehicles -- did you know anything about the other men?

ZOVKO: No. If my brother was with them, he trusted them. In his line of work, you don't associate with people you don't trust.

HEMMER: My best to you.

ZOVKO: Thank you very much.


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