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Army captain found guilty of Iraq "mercy killing"

[JURIST] A military court in Germany Thursday found US Army Captain Rogelio "Roger" Maynulet [advocacy petition website] guilty of assault with intent to commit voluntary manslaughter in connection with the shooting death of an Iraqi civilian last year, a lesser charge than that sought by military prosecutors who wanted him convicted of assault with intent to commit murder. The conviction on the manslaughter count carries a maximum sentence of ten years in prison. The charges against Maynulet stemmed from an incident in May 2004 when Maynulet's 1st Armored Division [official website] was alerted to a car which was thought to be carrying radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr and another militiaman. His company chased the car and fired at it, wounding the passenger and the driver. Maynulet then shot and killed the wounded driver. The shooting was caught on tape [AP report] by a US drone surveillance aircraft. Maynulet maintains he acted out of mercy [JURIST report] when he killed the driver and his lawyers argued that the actions were in line with the Geneva Conventions. The Court will reconvene later Thursday to determine Maynulet's sentencing. AP has more.

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