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Court-martial begins for US soldier accused of murdering Iraqi

[JURIST] Court-martial proceedings began Friday for a US soldier charged with the murder of a wounded Iraqi teenager during a outbreak of violence in Baghdad last year. Staff Sgt. Cardenas Alban, of the 41st Infantry Regiment out of Fort Riley, KA, is one of three soldiers charged in the incident and the second to be court-martialed. Staff Sgt. Johnny Horne was convicted last month [JURIST report] and sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to a murder charge. A third soldier, 2nd Lt. Erick Anderson, is also charged with murder. The three soldiers were part of a patrol in Sadr City on Aug. 18, which was during a period of heightened conflict with militia forces of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The soldiers fired on several men they suspected of placing bombs, and later killed one of the men who was wounded in the initial shooting, which the military called a mercy killing. Read a US Central Command press release on the court-martial. The Los Angeles Times details the events surrounding the killing. Reuters has more.

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