The defendants are charged with killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 other individuals. In addition, a sixth Blackwater security guard pleaded guilty on Dec. This guilty plea was also unsealed today. The indictment against the five defendants and the guilty plea by a sixth defendant were announced today by Patrick Rowan, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; Jeffrey A. The indictment, which was returned under seal on Dec.
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Chat with us in Facebook Messenger. Find out what's happening in the world as it unfolds. Story highlights Private security contractors reindicted by grand jury on manslaughter charges Case relates to shooting in that left 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians dead Defendants had denied all charges previously, saying they acted in self defense Incident prompted international outrage as U.
Four former Blackwater private security contractors faced new federal charges on Thursday, the latest chapter in a controversial political and diplomatic case over a deadly Iraqi War incident. The men were re-indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on various manslaughter charges related to a shooting that left 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians dead and at least 18 others wounded at Nisur Square in Baghdad.
The indictment alleges the men "unlawfully and intentionally, upon a sudden quarrel and heat of passion, did commit voluntary manslaughter. The defendants have denied all charges and said they acted in self-defense when fired upon initially by militants.
A federal judge in dismissed the original case, finding the Justice Department withheld key evidence, and violated the guards' rights. But a federal appeals court later reversed that decision, leading the government to seek a fresh indictment. The incident prompted international outrage at the time, and the criminal prosecution in the United States has dragged on for years. The killings led Iraq's government to slap limits on security contractors hired by various firms, including Virginia-based Blackwater-- now under new management and known as Academi.
Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. There was no immediate reaction from attorneys for the men. There was no indication when a new criminal trial would begin.
In Blackwater Case, Court Rejects a Murder Conviction and Voids 3 Sentences
Prince, who was not charged, remains at the helm of the company, now known as Xe Services, while many other executives have left as the company has sought to reshape its public image in the face of mounting legal and political scrutiny. They could include charges for bribery and export violations, according to officials familiar with the case, perhaps under a strategy of turning former and current executives of the company against one another. A federal grand jury in Raleigh, N. Blackwater sought to have the sheriff pose as the owner of the weapons because federal firearms law made it illegal for Blackwater to have so many of them, according to the indictment. Federal prosecutors charge that Blackwater shipped the weapons overseas with the barrels detached in an effort to avoid export regulations. Former Blackwater officials say that Mr. Jackson ran the company on a day-to-day basis, along with his top aide, Mr.
U.S. Indicts 5 Blackwater Ex-Officials
The shooting killed or injured at least 31 civilians when contractors unleashed a torrent of machine-gun fire and launched grenades into a crowded downtown Baghdad traffic circle from their heavily armored trucks. Three of the contractors — Dustin L. Heard, Evan S. Liberty and Paul A. Slough — were convicted in of voluntary manslaughter and using a machine gun to carry out a violent crime. They were sentenced to 30 years in prison, a mandatory sentence on the machine-gun charge.