"Specialist Federico Merida pleaded guilty to murder and making false official statements during court martial proceedings at Forward Operation Base Danger, Tikrit, Iraq," said the military.

 

A military spokeswoman said the sentence had been reduced from 30 to 25 years, one of the heaviest sentences handed to a US serviceman since the start of the war in May 2003.

 

The soldier was found guilty of murdering an Iraqi national guard last May in the town of Al-Dawr, near Tikrit.

 

In addition to the sentence, Merida was demoted to private and was given a dishonorable discharge, the statement said.