US soldier convicted in 2007 killing of four Iraqis

February 21st, 2009 - 8:30 am ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 21 (IANS) A US soldier has been convicted of murder for his involvement in the killing four Iraqis who were shot and dumped in a Baghdad canal in 2007, the BBC reported.
A military court at a US army base in Vilseck, Germany, Friday convicted Sgt Michael Leahy following his confession that he shot an Iraqi in the back of the head from close range.

The victims were a group of Iraqis who were detained briefly and questioned over an attack on a Baghdad military base.

Leahy was one of a group of soldiers who took detainees away after it was decided there was not enough evidence to charge them.

Blindfolded and gagged, the four were then shot and dumped in a canal, the report said.

The soldier faces a possible sentence of life without parole. The military court has not yet handed down a sentence.

Meanwhile, his lawyers argued that the stress of being in a conflict zone for so long meant he was unable to reason properly.

Last year, two other soldiers were sentenced to seven and eight months prison as accomplices in the murder of the four Iraqis.

Two more suspects in the crime are still to be tried by the US military court.

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