The United States has brought new manslaughter charges against four former private army contractors for an attack in Iraq in 2007. In the original 2008 process, charges were dropped before a scheduled trial when a district judge ruled that prosecutors should not have included statements given by the guards under threat of losing their jobs.
The US originally wanted to try the Blackwater Worldwide security guards for a shooting in Baghdad, which killed fourteen unarmed civilians. Machine guns, grenades and sniper rifles were all allegedly used. At the time, private contractors were immune from prosecution in Iraq. The incident strained US – Iraq relations.
In a new 2011 trial, prosecutors undertook a closer review of what charges they could prove in court. A hearing is set for October 25th. The men all deny manslaughter.
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