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US Army soldiers charged with premeditated murder of Iraqi nationals

[JURIST] The Multinational Force-Iraq (MNF-I) [official website] announced charges [press release] Saturday of premeditated murder and wrongfully placing weapons with the remains of deceased Iraqis against US Army Staff Sergeant Michael A. Hensley and Specialist Jorge G. Sandoval, Jr. The two soldiers allegedly killed three unarmed Iraqis in three separate incidents between April and June 2007 in the vicinity of Iskandariyah, Iraq. Hensley is also charged with three counts of obstruction of justice. The MNF-I says that both Hensley and Sandoval are currently held in pre-trial confinement in Kuwait.

The two will face a Article 32 hearing [JAG backgrounder], similar to civil grand jury proceedings, to determine whether they will face courts-martial. If convicted of premeditated murder, Hensley and Sandoval could face the death penalty. AFP has more.

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