Follow the Soapbox
 
Security guards for private US contractor guilty of manslaughter for notorious 2007 incident that left 17 dead in Baghdad
The Guardian by Dan Roberts 10/22/2014


Three security guards working for the private US contractor Blackwater have been found guilty of the manslaughter of a group of unarmed civilians at a crowded Baghdad traffic junction in one of the darkest incidents of the Iraq war.

A fourth, Nicholas Slatten, was found guilty of one charge of first-degree murder. All face the likelihood of lengthy prison sentences after unanimous verdicts on separate weapons charges related to the incident.

The Nisour Square massacre in 2007 left 17 people dead and 20 seriously injured after the guards working for the US State Department fired heavy machine guns and grenade launchers from their armoured convoy in the mistaken belief they were under attack by insurgents.

But attempts to prosecute the guards have previously foundered because of a series of legal mistakes by US officials, and the case had attracted widespread attention in Iraq as a symbol of apparent American immunity.

Now, after a 10-week trial and 28 days of deliberation, a jury in Washington has found three of the men – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard – guilty of a total of 13 charges of voluntary manslaughter and a total of 17 charges of attempted manslaughter.

The fourth defendant, Slatten, who was alleged to have been first to open fire, was found guilty of a separate charge of first-degree murder. Slough, Liberty and Heard were found guilty of using firearms in relation to a crime of violence, a charge which can alone carry up to a 30-year mandatory sentence.

Prosecutors had claimed Slatten, the convoy’s sniper, viewed killing Iraqis as “payback for 9/11” and often “deliberately fired his weapon to draw out return fire and instigate gun battles” or tried to smash windscreens of passing cars as his convoy rolled through Baghdad.

Jeremy Ridgeway, another member of the convoy known as Raven 23, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter in 2008 and agreed to testify against his colleagues in exchange for a more lenient sentence.

Although jurors failed to reach a verdict on three of the manslaughter and attempted manslaughter charges relating to Dustin Heard, he was found guilty of the remaining 17, and the near clean-sweep will be seen as overwhelming endorsement of the government’s case that the massacre was unlawful.

Prosecutors told the jury that Slatten triggered the incident by shooting the occupants of a civilian car during a traffic jam at a busy roundabout in Baghdad. As the car rolled forward, other members of the convoy of three armoured vehicles opened fire indiscriminately with heavy weapons claiming they thought they were under attack from an attempted car bombing.

The case hinged on whether or not the defendants’ belief that their convoy was under attack could be justified by limited evidence apparent to them at the time.

Their lawyers focued on the allegedly erratic behavior of one of the vehicles at the junction and evidence of AK-47 bullet casings found nearby, which some witnesses claimed they heard being fired toward the convoy.

Nevertheless, during the trial’s emotional closing arguments, jurors were told of the “shocking amount of death, injury and destruction” that saw “innocent men, women and children mowed down” as they went about their business in downtown Baghdad.

Federal prosecutor Anthony Asuncion said: “These men took something that did not belong to them: the lives of 14 human beings. They were turned into bloody bullet-riddled corpses at the hands of these men.”

“It must have seemed like the apocalypse was here,” said Asuncion in his closing argument, as he described how many were shot in the back, at long range, or blown up by powerful grenades used by the US contractors.

“There was not a single dead insurgent on the scene,” claimed the prosecutor. “None of these people were armed.”

After he described at length the harrowing fate of individual Iraqi civilians attacked by the Blackwater convoy, Asuncion’s voice was shaking, and he was asked to repeat a key line for the court stenographer to hear. “[The witness] opened the door and his son’s brains fell out at his feet,” Asuncion shouted the second time. “As [the witness] put it, ‘the world went dark for me’.”

Dozens of witnesses and relatives from Iraq were flown over for the trial, some showing jurors the scars on their bodies and giving evidence that caused one juror to be recused after she said she could no longer sleep at night.

Prosecutors also recapped evidence from Blackwater colleagues who testified against the accused, claiming they acted with contempt for Iraqi civilians and boasted of turning “a guy’s head into a canoe” and “popping his grape”.

Earlier in the trial, these witnesses had spoken of telling the accused to “cease-fucking-fire” after the attack, which one described as “the most horrible botched thing I have ever seen in my life”.

But defence attorneys argue the men were acting in legitimate self-defence after suspecting a car that was rolling toward them at a busy traffic intersection could contain a bomb.

Blackwater – renamed first Xe Services and then Academi after the incident saw it thrown out of Iraq and dubbed a mercenary force by a United Nations report – reached a civilian settlement on behalf of six of the victims in 2012 and paid an undisclosed sum in compensation.

FBI investigators who visited the scene in the following days described it as the “My Lai massacre of Iraq” – a reference to the infamous slaughter of civilian villagers by US troops during the Vietnam war – in which only one soldier convicted.

Nevertheless, the first attempt to bring the case to trial was thrown out by a judge after it emerged that State Department investigators had promised the defendants that statements made after the attack and leaked to the media would not be used against them in court.

In an unusual political intervention, vice-president Joe Biden promised the US would pursue a fresh prosecution during a trip to Iraq and an appeal court later ruled these errors in witness interviews did not sufficiently taint the evidence to prevent a trial.

Nevertheless, prosecutors were still forced to drop manslaughter charges against Slatten because they had mistakenly exceeded the statute of limitations during the wrangling, and had to pursue tougher charges against him instead because there was no time limit for murder.

The 14 victims killed by the Blackwater guards on trial were listed as Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, Mahassin Mohssen Kadhum Al-Khazali, Osama Fadhil Abbas, Ali Mohammed Hafedh Abdul Razzaq, Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Qasim Mohamed Abbas Mahmoud, Sa’adi Ali Abbas Alkarkh, Mushtaq Karim Abd Al-Razzaq, Ghaniyah Hassan Ali, Ibrahim Abid Ayash, Hamoud Sa’eed Abttan, Uday Ismail Ibrahiem, Mahdi Sahib Nasir and Ali Khalil Abdul Hussein.

 


Comments

11/01/2015 10:53am

It is a great article. You will surely like this also because it is a great stufff
http://www.happynewyear2016-images.com
http://www.recipefrance.com/2015/04/meilleur-images-de-bonne-annee-2016.html
http://www.felizanonuevo2016frases.com

Reply

Nice and effective blog post. The content is too short but effective. I love the information you share here. Its an well written blog post by you. This is awesome blog post.

Reply
jai
12/02/2015 6:49am

<a href="http://www.999birthday.com/">Happy Birthday pics and wallpaper</a>

<a href="http://www.999birthday.com/happy-birthday-aunt.html">Happy birthday aunt</a>

<a href="http://www.999birthday.com/happy-birthday-animated-gif.html">Happy birthday animated gif</a>

<a href="http://www.999birthday.com/happy-birthday-animation.html">Happy birthday animation</a>

Reply

thanks for messages cards

Reply

thanks for new year images

Reply

thanks for super bowl

Reply

thanks fro republic day

Reply
12/15/2015 8:16am

thanks for pongal images

Reply
12/15/2015 8:17am

thanks for lohri

Reply
12/15/2015 8:17am

thanks for pongal greetings

Reply
12/15/2015 8:18am

thanks for pongal

Reply
12/15/2015 8:18am

thanks for republic day

Reply
12/15/2015 8:19am

thanks for makar wishjes

Reply
12/15/2015 8:20am

thanks for makar sms

Reply
01/07/2016 9:40am

thanks for this

Reply
01/07/2016 11:25pm

thanks for pongal

Reply
01/10/2016 10:33am

nice

Reply
01/10/2016 10:33am

tq

Reply
01/10/2016 10:36am




http://www.nfllivestreamfree2015.com
http://www.nfllivestreamfree2015.com
http://www.nfllivestreamfree2015.com
http://www.superbowl2016score.com/
http://www.superbowl2016score.com/
http://www.superbowl2016score.com/
http://www.superbowl2016score.net/
http://www.superbowl2016score.net/
http://www.superbowl2016score.net/

Reply
01/11/2016 10:42pm


I loved your website hope You will like my content on Makar Sankranti

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-makar-sankranti-2016-images-pictures-photos-wallpaper-free-download/">Happy Makar Sankranti 2016 Images</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/rava-sweet-pongal-recipes-in-tamil-telugu-step-by-step-dish-video-in-hindi-by-sanjeev-kapoor/">Sweet Pongal Recipes in tamil Videos</a>

<a href="http://happychildrensday2015poems.in/happy-republic-day-2016-speech-essay-in-english-hindi-language/">Happy Republic Day 2016 Speech In Hindi languages</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/punjabi-lohri-special-songs-lyrics-mp3-in-320-kbps-128-kbps-free-download/">Punjabi Lohri Special Songs download</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-lohri-2016-animated-hd-images-videos-songs-photos-pictures-wallpaper-greeting-cards-download/">Happy Lohri video songs download</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-lohri-2016-funny-videos-download-for-whatsapp-in-gidda-bhangra-punjabi-for-mobile/">Happy Lohri 2016 Videos Download</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-lohri-2016-wishes-sms-messages-msg-quotes-in-punjabi/">Happy Lohri Wishes Sms</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/swami-vivekananda-jayanti-2016-profile-pictures-images-in-hd/">Swami Vivekananda Jayanti Profile Pictures</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/swami-vivekananda-jayanti-2016-sms-wishes-messages-for-whatsapp-facebook-download/">Swami Vivekananda Jayanti 2016 Sms</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/swami-vivekananda-2016-short-speech-essay-in-hindi-english-for-school/">Swami Vivekananda Short Speech</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/swami-vivekananda-jayantibirthday-2016-fb-status-lines-quotes-for-whatsapp-group/">Swami Vivekananda Jayanti fb Status</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/about-swami-vivekananda-jayanti-birthday-2016/">About Swami Vivekananda Jayanti</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/vivekananda-birthday-2016-is-school-holiday-or-not-public-restricted-holiday-list/">Vivekananda birthday 2016 is school holiday or Not</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/swami-vivekanand-birthday-quotes-in-hindi-english-bengali-tamil-language/">Swami Vivekanand Birthday Quotes In Hindi</a>


<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-makar-sankranti-2016-images-pictures-photos-wallpaper-free-download/">Happy Makar Sankranti 2016 Images</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-makar-sankranti-2016-wishes-sms-messages-quotes-greeting-cards-sms/">Happy Makar Sankranti 2016 Wishes</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-lohri-2016-wishes-sms-messages-msg-quotes-in-punjabi/">Happy Lohri 2016 Wishes Sms</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-lohri-2016-funny-videos-download-for-whatsapp-in-gidda-bhangra-punjabi-for-mobile/">Happy Lohri Funny Videos Download</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/rava-sweet-pongal-recipes-in-tamil-telugu-step-by-step-dish-video-in-hindi-by-sanjeev-kapoor/">Sweet Pongal Recipes In Tamil</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/happy-new-year-2016-funny-whatsapp-video-download-for-mobile/">Funny Video For Whatsapp</a>

<a href="http://dailyneed.in/26-january-2016-speech-essay-nibhand-for-school-in-english-hindi-marathi-tamil-language/">26 January 2016 Speech in english hindi marathi tamil language</a>

Reply
01/11/2016 10:42pm

I loved your website hope You will like my content on Pongal

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/special-pongal-muggulu-design-images-rangoli-kolam-wallpaper-pictures/">Special Pongal Muggulu Design Images</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/happy-pongal-2016-hd-images-wallpaper-pictures-greeting-cards-in-tamil/">Happy Pongal 2016 Hd Images In Tamil</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/happy-pongal-2016-whatsapp-status-and-facebook-timeline-status/">Happy Pongal 2016 Whatsapp Status and Facebook Timeline Status</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/happy-pongal-2016-whatsapp-dp-and-facebook-profile-pictures/">Happy Pongal 2016 Whatsapp DP and Facebook Profile Pictures</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/rava-khara-ven-sakkarai-sweet-pongal-recipes-in-tamil-step-by-step-dish-video-in-hindi-by-sanjeev-kapoor/">Rava Pongal Recipes in Tamil Step by Step Dish Video</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/rava-khara-ven-sakkarai-sweet-pongal-recipes-in-tamil-step-by-step-dish-video-in-hindi-by-sanjeev-kapoor/">sakkari Pongal Recipes in Tamil</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/rava-khara-ven-sakkarai-sweet-pongal-recipes-in-tamil-step-by-step-dish-video-in-hindi-by-sanjeev-kapoor/">chakkari Pongal Recipes in Tamil</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/rava-khara-ven-sakkarai-sweet-pongal-recipes-in-tamil-step-by-step-dish-video-in-hindi-by-sanjeev-kapoor/">Rava Pongal Recipes in Tamil</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/pongal-2016-rangoli-kolam-images-pictures-wallpaper-for-mobile-whatsapp-facebook/">Pongal 2016 Rangoli Kolam Images Pictures & Wallpaper For Mobile Whatsapp Facebook</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/happy-pongal-animated-greetings-cards-in-tamil-font-english/">Happy Pongal Animated Greetings Cards In English</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/simple-pongal-rangoli-kolam-design-with-dots-for-pongal/">Pongal Rangoli Kolam Design With Dots</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/happy-pongal-2016-sms-wishes-images-in-tamil/">Happy Pongal Sms In Tamil</a>

<a href="http://happypongal2016wishes.in/happy-pongal-2016-greeting-cards-wishes-in-tamil-for-facebook-whatsapp-friends/">Happy Pongal 2016 Greeting cards in Tamil</a>

Reply

terimakasih

Reply

thaks you

Reply
04/11/2016 1:16am

Vety nice

Reply
aitec
06/05/2016 4:04am

<a href="http://www.tourdefrance2016direct.com/"> TOUR DE FRANCE 2016 EN DIRECT STREAMING </a>

Reply

real provider

Reply
06/21/2016 1:24am

Nice

Reply

Delighted so much to be here and wanna say thanks a lot for providing me this article.

Reply

I loved what you've done here. The design is elegant, your content classy. Appreciate this post. I'm interested in your article!

Reply
08/30/2016 5:43am

Its a great pleasure reading your post.Its full of information

Reply
08/30/2016 7:25am

This post is too good and supporting

Reply
08/31/2016 12:33am

It is so useful and beneficial

Reply

Nice article. Think so new form of features have included in your article. Waiting for your next article.

Reply



Leave a Reply