In December 2018, Nicholas A. Slatten who is a Blackwater contractor was sentenced for his role in gunning down one of the 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
Washington- A few moments before a federal judge announced the life imprisonment of Nicholas. A. Slatten (a Blackwater contractor) for his direct involvement in the shooting that took place in Baghdad Iraq in which dozens of Iraqi civilians lost their lives, he stood in a jumpsuit and said that he was not guilty of any crime and has been a victim of ruthless prosecutors of the department of justice. He further added that it was a miscarriage of justice that will not stay for long.
Last December Nicolas was convicted of murdering an unarmed Iraqi civilian In NiSource Square by an honorable jury, according to the prosecutor Nicholas was the first to open fire and this act lead to the hail of firing with machine guns and even the grenades were used by the other guards in his convey. These shooting left two children, 10 women, and two men dead and 18 injured.
Federal District Court
The Judge of the federal district court for the Columbia District Royce C. Lamberth who was responsible for the hearing rejected Slatten’s statement of innocence, the judge included the reference to the statement of another fellow Blackwater guard in which he claimed that he was the first one to open fire and not Nicholas A Slatten. He said that he was the one who fired on the driver of the white car Kia Sedan.
According to Judge Lamberth’s statement the court and the jury had a common point of view about the evidence and the statement of the fellow Blackwater Guard was just an effort to mislead the court and authorities about the case and it was Nicholas who shot Mr. Al Rubia’y between his eyes and took his life and there was nothing that provoked him for doing so.
During the Iraq insurgency, the Government of America hired the Blackwater Security for the protection of the State Department Officials present in the war zone. The attacks on civilians of Iraq has become a symbol of the abuse America is responsible for it even raised the question on the US Government trusting the Blackwater security contractors in the area of war. The relations between Iraq and USA Governments also got stressed due to these attacks on civilians. The Iraq government wanted to prosecute the contractors but the USA Government wanted to handle the issue.
The judge handling the case rejected all the efforts done by the defense including a constitutional challenge to a law claiming that Mr. Slatten should get life sentence on charges of first-degree murder. The judge imposed the sentence of life imprisonment, after which Nicholas blessed the judge before the guards took him away from the courtroom.
The defense lawyer, the friends, and family of Nicholas say that he is not guilty he is a patriot and not a criminal. They said that they will keep fighting till the end and they will take the case to the Court of Appeals district Columbia and request the court to overturn the sentence of life imprisonment and revise the verdict.
There is one thing that was not mentioned during the court hearing and it was a document signed by the President of America saying that he was thinking about pardoning Nicholas Slatten and many other Blackwater contractors as well as the servicemen that have been accused of war crimes. The leading Newspaper of America the New York Times in a report published in May said that they have information by two officials of the State that White House has requested to complete the paperwork related to the cases of Nicholas Slatten and a number of other criminals of war.
According to the accusation by Mr. Slatten, the government has hidden the classified evidence that may have proven him not guilty, but the prosecutor rejected his claims, that protestors ignited the Nisour Square incident. There are a number of supporters of Mr. Slatten who praise him for his work with the Army before he joined the Blackwater security. According to the father of the accused people judging his son do not know anything about the patriotism of his son and so are unable to understand that his son is innocent.
According to the Judge hearing the trial, he himself had a chance to serve a tour during the Vietnam War and has gone through many dangerous circumstances. He said as an army officer Nicholas Slatten should understand that the security officers just like the army men should rely on one another and follow certain rules, they should make sure to minimize the killing of civilians. As for the act done by Nicholas, there was no need to open fire on the unarmed people. In these circumstances, the Blackwater securities could only use the arms only for self-defense. The shreds of evidence show that the convoy of the American state department did not have any security issue nor was it fired by anyone and so there was no need to fire them.
There was one more security contractor involved in the machine-gun shooting, his name is Jeremy Ridgeway who pleaded guilty to killing of people, and he cooperated with the prosecutors. All the cases against other security contractors who were involved in the shooting were difficult.
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