Hearings set for US soldiers charged with death of Iraq detainee

[JURIST] The hearings for two US soldiers charged in connection with the death of an Iraqi detainee have been scheduled for September 11 and 20, representatives of the US military said [AFP report] on Thursday. Staff Sgt. Hal M. Warner was charged [press release; JURIST report] in August with premeditated murder, assault, accessory after the fact, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Ali Mansur Mohamed, a detainee originally thought to have been released from Coalition custody sometime around May 16. Warner was originally scheduled to appear for an Article 32 preliminary hearing [JAG backgrounder] on August 15, but the hearing was postponed [press release; JURIST report] until September 5. 1st Lt. Michael C. Behenna, is also charged with premeditated murder, assault, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice in connection with Mohamed's death.

In March, US Marine Sgt. Ryan Weemer was charged [press release] with one count of murder and one count of dereliction of duty for his involvement in the shooting death of a detained Iraqi insurgent during a Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-Iraq) [official website] November 2004 offensive [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Fallujah [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. The charges against Weemer followed December 2007 charges against Marine Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson for murder and dereliction of duty, and August charges [JURIST reports] against former Marine Sgt. Jose Nazario for voluntary manslaughter in connection with the same incident. In March 2007, a US military court-martial found 101st Airborne Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard guilty of three counts of negligent homicide [Article 32 hearing transcript, DOC], but not guilty of premeditated murder for the deaths of three Iraqi detainees [JURIST news archive] held after a May 2006 raid in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra in the northern Salahuddin province of Iraq. In January 2007 US Army Specialist William Hunsaker received an 18-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice charges [JURIST report] relating to the same incident.



 

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