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Hearing postponed for US soldier charged in death of Iraqi detainee

[JURIST] The US-led Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-Iraq) [official website] announced Saturday that the first hearing of a US soldier charged in connection with the death of an Iraqi detainee will begin on September 5 [press release]. Staff Sgt. Hal M. Warner, who was stationed about 130 miles north of Baghdad, was charged [press release; JURIST report] early this month with premeditated murder, assault, accessory after the fact, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice in connection with the death of Ali Mansur Mohamed, a detainee originally thought to have been released from Coalition custody sometime around May 16. Warner was originally scheduled to appear for an Article 32 preliminary hearing [JAG backgrounder] August 15. The trial for 1st Lt. Michael C. Behenna, also charged with premeditated murder, assault, making a false official statement and obstruction of justice in connection with Mohamed's death, has not been scheduled. AFP has more.

In March, US Marine Sgt. Ryan Weemer was charged [press release] with one count of murder and one count of dereliction of duty for his involvement in the shooting death of a detained Iraqi insurgent during MNF-Iraq's November 2004 offensive [GlobalSecurity backgrounder] in Fallujah [USMC timeline; JURIST news archive]. The charges against Weemer followed December 2007 charges against Marine Sgt. Jermaine A. Nelson for murder and dereliction of duty, and August charges [JURIST reports] against former Marine Sgt. Jose Nazario for voluntary manslaughter in connection with the same incident. In March 2007, a US military court-martial found 101st Airborne Staff Sgt. Raymond Girouard guilty of three counts of negligent homicide [Article 32 hearing transcript, DOC], but not guilty of premeditated murder for the deaths of three Iraqi detainees [JURIST news archive] held after a May 2006 raid in Thar Thar, a town near Samarra in the northern Salahuddin province of Iraq. In January 2007 US Army Specialist William Hunsaker received an 18-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to murder, attempted murder and obstruction of justice charges [JURIST report] relating to the same incident.

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