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US soldier pleads guilty to conspiracy in Iraqi detainee deaths

[JURIST] US Army Specialist Belmor Ramos pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiracy for his involvement in the killings of four unarmed Iraqi prisoners [NY Times report] west of Baghdad in 2007. In his confession, Ramos said he willingly took part in the killings as retribution for earlier deaths of US soldiers. As part of a plea agreement, Ramos was sentenced to seven months in prison, a term reduced from what a prosecutor in the case said would have otherwise been closer to 40 years. Ramos is also scheduled to have his rank reduced and to be dishonorable discharged from the army, but his lawyer is appealing those penalties. AP has more. BBC News has additional coverage.

On Wednesday, three other US soldiers were charged [JURIST report] with premeditated murder, conspiracy to commit premeditated murder, and obstruction of justice for their parts in the killings.

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