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Military court convicts US soldier of abusing fellow troops

[JURIST] A US military court at Camp Arifjan [Global Security backgrounder] in Kuwait convicted Sergeant Jarret Taylor of abusing fellow troops and making a false official statement on Friday. Taylor's rank was reduced to private, he was sentenced to six months in jail, and was fined nearly $6,000. The behavior was discovered [CNN report] during the investigation of Private Keiffer Wilhelm's suicide in August, but it is unclear whether Taylor's actions contributed to the suicide. Taylor was one of four soldiers in a platoon stationed at Forward Operating Base Hunter in southern Iraq who have been charged [AFP report] with cruelty and maltreatment of soldiers. Two of the soldiers face future court martial, while another was dishonorably discharged.

Last week, federal prosecutors from the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] indicated they would drop [JURIST report] manslaughter charges against a Blackwater Worldwide [JURIST news archive] security guard who had allegedly been involved in the September 2007 shooting incident in Baghdad [JURIST report] that killed 17 Iraqis. According to US Attorney for the District of Columbia Channing Phillips [official profile], a motion was filed under seal to dismiss the charges against Nicholas Slatten. No reason was given as to why the indictment was being dismissed, but prosecutors asked that they be allowed to resubmit the charges at a later date if desired.

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