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Army drops charges against officer in Iraqi civilian 'mercy killing' case

[JURIST] The US Army [official website] Monday dropped charges against an officer who was charged with murder [JURIST report] for giving permission to soldiers serving under him to kill two Iraqi civilians, including an Iraqi teenager who was suffering from severe wounds in the aftermath of a US attack and was killed "to put him out of his misery." The murder charges against Second Lt. Erick J. Anderson of Ohio were dropped after an Army investigator presiding over Anderson's Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder; UCMJ text], held last month, recommended against a court martial. During Anderson's hearing [JURIST report], one soldier refused to testify because he was not given immunity from prosecution and another soldier changed his story, saying he only implicated Anderson in order to have his own life sentence reduced to 25 years. Prosecutors initially dropped the charges against Anderson in January due to lack of evidence, but new charges were filed in October [JURIST report] after further investigation. A deputy staff judge advocate at Fort Riley [official website] said the case against Anderson is now closed and the investigation is over "unless any new significant and substantially credible information comes to light." AP has more.

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