Thursday, December 31st, 2009
Oh, the prosecution accidentally completely violated rules of evidence. That’s not suspicious at all. Think they threw the case? Comment below.
Flashback:CIA admits Blackwater presence in Pakistan | Blackwater guards linked to secret CIA raids | Blackwater’s Erik Prince: Tycoon, Contractor, Soldier, Spy | Taliban: Blackwater to blame for Pakistan attacks | Report: Blackwater approved plan to pay off Iraqi officials | Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater, ISI for Peshawar Blast | Ex-employees claim Blackwater pimped out young Iraqi girls | Blackwater Founder Erik Prince Implicated in Murder | Obama’s Blackwater? Chicago Mercenary Firm Gets Millions for Private “Security” in Israel and Iraq | Blackwater, mired in Iraq controversy, changes its name to ‘Xe’ | Official: Blackwater contract for Iraq not renewed | Blackwater Guards facing Charges in Case of 17 Dead Iraqi Citizens | Madsen: CIA collusion with “Al Qaeda” financiers and attack planners | Blackwater-linked firm to train Canadian troops | Canadian troops continue gearing up, to receive US counter-insurgency training | Blackwater Worldwide, Wal-Mart of modern war
Ewen MacAskill, The Guardian
December 31, 2009
US justice department ‘disappointed’ by decision to throw out charges against five guards accused of killing up to 17 Iraqis
A judge in America threw out charges against members of the Blackwater security company yesterday who were accused of killing Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in one of the most notorious incidents since the 2003 invasion.
The ruling will be met with anger in Iraq, where feelings ran high at the time. Fourteen to 17 people were killed in the incident. The Iraqi government had wanted the trial held in Iraq.
Blackwater, now renamed Xe, was notorious in Iraq, where its guards gained a reputation for aggression.
The security guards opened fire while escorting a four-truck convoy of US diplomats through the Iraqi capital on 16 September 2007. At the time Blackwater denied any crime had been committed, saying its staff were operating under official US rules of engagement.
US district judge Ricardo Urbina ruled in favour of the Blackwater men yesterday, saying prosecutors wrongly used against them statements they had given under duress. He said the government’s case was built largely on “statements compelled under a threat of job loss in a subsequent criminal prosecution,” a violation of their constitutional rights. The state department, which employed Blackwater, had ordered the men to explain what had happened.