Conflict & Justice

Charged Blackwater guards turn themselves in

The incident provoked immediate rage in Baghdad. Witnesses described the Blackwater guards as shooting unarmed civilians. The subsequent FBI investigation and the charges announced today appeared to back up that interpretation. This national security official said the guards are charged with 35 accounts of voluntary manslaughter, attempt to commit manslaughter, and weapons charges�specifically they're charged with killing 14 unarmed civilians and wounding 20 other individuals in connection with this event. The defense says the men were acting in self-defense but U.S. Attorney described the shootings as unprovoked. The violence that day was devastating. Legal experts say accountability for such crimes is long overdue. this legal analyst says there have been thousands of violent incidents against Iraqi civilians committed by American contractors and there's been almost no accountability. He says the case is also important for establishing legal precedent. This analyst says there's a legal grey area that needs to be resolved. The accused men are gearing up to fight the charges, and one of the men accused called the trial a politically motivated event to appease the Iraqi government.

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