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US Court Sentences Blackwater Guards Over 2007 Baghdad Massacre

Slatten Gets Life in Prison, Others Get 30 Years

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By Jason Ditz

Following up on the October convictions of four Blackwater employees for their roles in the 2007 Nisour Square Massacre in Baghdad, a US court today sentenced all four to substantial prison terms.

Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, and Dustin Heard each faced multiple counts of voluntary manslaughter, and were each sentenced to 30 years in prison. The heaviest charges fell on Nicholas Slatten, however.

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Slatten, who bragged to friends of his intention to “kill as many Iraqis as he could as payback for 9/11,” was charged with first-degree murder in the killings, and was sentenced to life in prison. He was also the one who fired first.

The Nisour Square Massacre left 17 Iraqi civilians dead and 20 injured and led to the revocation by the Iraqi government of Blackwater’s license to operate in the nation, though they remained for quite some time under State Department auspices anyhow.

The guard were charged in a relatively rare case of using the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act of 2000. The defense argued unsuccessfully that this did not apply because they were working as military contractors for the US State Department, not the military itself.

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