U.S. ex-Blackwater guard involved in the killing of civilians in Iraq, sentenced to life in prison

В США экс-охранник Blackwater, причастный к убийству мирных жителей в Ираке, осужден пожизненно

A US Federal court has sentenced on Wednesday to life imprisonment the former employee of one of the world’s largest private military companies (PMC) Blackwater over the killing of civilians in Baghdad in 2007. This was reported by the newspaper The New York Times.

According to her, the judge of the capital of the district of Columbia Royce Lamberth agreed with the jury that in December 2018, the defendant, Nicholas Slatten guilty. “The court fully agrees that he is guilty. I understand that many witnesses believe in his innocence, however, they have not watched the trial completely,” explained Lambert.

He, however, called “strong [impact] and important” the testimony of relatives and friends of Slatina, asking the court to show leniency and to take into account the difficulty of serving in Iraq, where terrorists using guerrilla tactics, it was difficult to find in a crowd of civilians.

However, judge Lamberth rejected those arguments, citing his military experience during the war in Vietnam. According to him, the combatants must adhere to certain rules to minimize the suffering of civilians. In this case, the Blackwater guards had no reason to open fire first.

Himself a former member of the PMC refused to admit guilt in exchange for leniency, reports TASS. “I didn’t shoot the driver of the white car and are a victim of the prosecutors, he said, addressing the audience in the courtroom. If they sued me for something I did not commit, they can do it with you.”

The courts of three States have considered the case of Nicholas Slatten, who at the time of the crime was 23 years old. In 2014 he was found guilty. This verdict was later cancelled by the court of appeal. The second trial last year ended in a stalemate, as the jury was unable to reach a unanimous conclusion.

From the case materials that in September 2007, Blackwater contractors were escorting a convoy of U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. At nisour square, they suspect that they are preparing an attack. In the end, the guards opened fire on unarmed Iraqis. The shooting killed 17 civilians, including two children and 10 women, and 20 people were injured.

The first fire on civilians was opened Sletten. According to prosecutors, a member of the PMC deliberately killed 19-year-old driver of the white car Kia Ahmed al Rubia, shot him between the eyes. While Sletten “guided by hatred, prejudice and a warped sense of revenge”. Fire from the guard was the signal for his colleagues.

The US judicial process on the case of “the massacre at nisour square” lasted several years, the guards and Blackwater officials claimed to have acted in accordance with instructions and in self-defense.
In April 2015, four employee received 30 years in prison.
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