Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Gaza: A Truce At All Costs?

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Central African Republic: Brazzaville ceasefire talks deliver fragile deal

Read more

FOCUS

Sluggish tourist season in Crimea

Read more

ENCORE!

Bartabas : Mixing Christ with Spanish music and dancing horses

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Shifts in the propaganda war waged between Israelis and Palestinians

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French MPs face quandary in pro-Palestinian rallies

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Yezid Sayigh, Senior Associate at the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut

Read more

#TECH 24

Mind the Gender Gap : getting more women into the tech sector

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Bolivian children: heading to work aged 10

Read more

  • Live: France says missing Algerian plane 'probably crashed'

    Read more

  • 51 French nationals aboard missing Algerian plane

    Read more

  • Algerian jet vanishes: 'We should eliminate the missile hypothesis'

    Read more

  • Deadly Israeli strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to easy victory in 18th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • Iraqi parliament elects moderate Kurd as president

    Read more

  • US, European aviation agencies lift travel restrictions to Tel Aviv

    Read more

  • Sudanese Christian woman sentenced to death arrives in Italy

    Read more

  • No end to fighting until Israel ends Gaza blockade, Hamas says

    Read more

  • Two foreign women shot dead in western Afghanistan

    Read more

  • At least 60 killed in attack on prison convoy near Baghdad

    Read more

  • Cycling is ‘winning the war on doping,’ says expert

    Read more

  • Ceasefire agreed for Central African Republic

    Read more

  • Can Jew-kissing-Arab selfie give peace a viral chance?

    Read more

  • Botched Arizona execution takes nearly two hours

    Read more

Afghanistan

Afghan killings US soldier saw friend maimed day before, lawyer says

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-16

The US soldier accused of gunning down 16 Afghan civilians Sunday was 'affected' by a bombing that maimed his friend the day before, his lawyer claimed Thursday. The suspect, who has not been named, is being held in Kuwait.

AFP - The US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers was upset by a serious injury sustained by an army comrade the day before the massacre, his civilian lawyer said Thursday.

The 38-year-old army sergeant, being held in Kuwait, was also unhappy about being sent to Afghanistan, having earlier been told he would not be redeployed after three tours in Iraq, said the attorney.

The married father-of-two is not being named, and his family has moved on to a military base south of Seattle because of security fears and concerns about retaliation for the attack.

A decorated veteran, the suspect is alleged to have left his base in southern Kandahar province before dawn Sunday and then proceeded to kill the Afghans, many of them children, in two neighboring villages.

"We have been informed that at this small base that he was at, somebody was gravely injured the day before the alleged incident, which affects all of the soldiers there," attorney John Henry Browne told reporters in Seattle.

He declined to give more details to reporters, but a report said a friend and fellow US trooper had his leg blown off next to the rampage suspect.

The New York Times said the suspect, a career soldier originally from the Midwest, had been drinking at the time of the shootings, was stressed because of his fourth deployment and had been experiencing tensions with his wife.

"When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues -- he just snapped," an unnamed official told the Times.

But the Seattle lawyer, who has taken on high-profile cases before, questioned the report, saying there were no marital problems.

"I know that is absolutely not true," he said of the marital issues. "I don't have any information that alcohol is a factor," he noted.

"I imagine stress is a factor. Who's not going to be under stress in Afghanistan, in a small camp where there's 20 people, in the middle of nowhere?" he asked.

He said his client, who left for Afghanistan in December, had been unhappy to be deployed there after Iraq, where he suffered head and foot injuries.

"He was told that he was not going to be re-deployed, the family was counting on him not being redeployed, and then literally overnight that changed," he said.

"So I think that it would be fair to say that he and the family were not happy that he was going back," he said.

The suspect has been flown to Kuwait, in a first step towards being charged and put on trial outside Afghanistan, defying demands by Afghan leaders for a public trial at home.

Browne said it was possible the suspect could be tried in a military court at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, south of Seattle, which has been the soldier's home base throughout his military career.

But he could equally be tried in any major US garrison, or possibly in a military court outside the country, but not in Afghanistan.

"I don't know whether he will be tried in the Middle East of whether he'll be tried on a base in the United States. That's up in the air at the moment," Browne said, adding: "I think Afghanistan is completely off the table."

Browne is known for representing Colton Harris-Moore, the so-called "Barefoot Bandit," who was found guilty of a string of audacious crimes across the United States and sentenced in January to six-and-a-half years in prison.

Date created : 2012-03-16

  • United States

    Pentagon grilled on massacre suspect's mental health

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    Taliban fires on memorial for Afghans slain by US soldier

    Read more

  • AFGHANISTAN

    US stands firm on Afghan policy in wake of shooting

    Read more

COMMENT(S)