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Hearing begins for US troops charged in Mahmudiya rape-murder case

[JURIST] A military hearing for the five US Army soldiers now charged [JURIST report] in connection with the rape and murder of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the murder of her family in Mahmudiya [JURIST news archive] began Sunday with testimony by unidentified Iraqi witnesses. The Article 32 hearing [Navy JAG backgrounder] will determine whether there is enough evidence to hold a court-martial for the five soldiers. The hearings are expected to last several days, with many parts continuing in secret to protect the witnesses. The FBI alleges that on March 12 the soldiers drank alcohol, changed clothes, and went to the victims' house where they raped and murdered Abeer Qassim Hamza and murdered her family.

Former Pfc. Steven D. Greene pleaded not guilty [JURIST report] in federal court to murder and rape charges [complaint via FindLaw] in July. Greene faces charges in federal court because he was discharged from the Army due to a personality disorder before the Mahmudiya allegations arose. AP has more.

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