Friday, December 05, 2008

You can't just shoot up the town and leave

Even if there's a war going on:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Five security guards from Blackwater Worldwide have been indicted on charges related to a 2007 shooting in which 17 Iraqis were killed in a Baghdad square, two sources said Friday.

A sixth security guard is in plea negotiations, the sources told CNN.

The exact charges, handed up by a federal grand jury, aren't publicly known because the indictment is under seal. Prosecutors had been considering bringing such charges as murder and assault against the guards.

Update 12/7:
WASHINGTON (AP) — Five indicted Blackwater Worldwide security guards plan to surrender to the FBI Monday in Salt Lake City, about 2,000 miles from the Washington courthouse where they were charged, a person close to the case said.

Such a move would be the opening salvo in what is shaping up to be a contentious legal fight before the guards can even get to trial. By surrendering in Utah, the guards can argue their trial should be held there, not in Washington. One of the five guards is from Utah.

The person described the decision to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the indictment against the men remains sealed.

The five guards, all military veterans, are charged were indicted for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead. The shooting strained U.S. diplomacy and fueled anti-American sentiment abroad.

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