الأربعاء، 8 أبريل، 2009

The Daily Star: US soldier on trial for rape, murder of Iraqi girl

CHICAGO: Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a former US soldier accused of being the ringleader of a plot to rape a teenaged Iraqi girl, murder her family and set the house alight to cover their crime. Specialist Steven D. Green - a soldier discharged for a "personality disorder" before the slaying was discovered - faces the death penalty in the civil trial being held in Kentucky.
Three other soldiers were given life sentences in the March 2006 atrocity which was allegedly devised over whiskey and a game of cards at a traffic check point in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad. A fourth soldier who acted as a lookout was sentenced to 27 months in jail.
Green told his friends he "wanted to go to a house and kill some Iraqis," Specialist James Barker said at a court martial.
The soldiers changed into black outfits and masks so they would look like insurgents and headed for the house of a 14-year-old girl they had noticed walking through the village.
Sergeant Paul Cortez testified that he raped Abeer Kassem Hamza al-Janabi while Barker pinned the girl to the floor.
The men switched positions and then heard about four or five shots from a bedroom where Green had taken the girl's father, mother and six-year-old sister, Cortez said.
Green shot the girl when he was finished raping her and the soldiers set the home on fire by tossing a lighter onto a Kerosene-soaked blanket covering her body, the other soldiers said.
They then went back to their checkpoint about 200 meters away and grilled chicken wings.
The allegations came to light a few months later when stress counselors talked to the squad after an incident in which two soldiers were abducted at a checkpoint and later brutally murdered.
Green faces 17 criminal counts - including rape, murder and obstruction of justice - in civilian court because he was discharged from the army before the allegations came to light.
Opening statements are scheduled for April 27. - AFP
Agence France Press
The Daily Star
08-04-09

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