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US marine convicted in Iraq murder
He faces life sentence for conspiring to kill a retired Iraqi policeman.
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2007 00:02 GMT
Thomas had initially pleaded guilty but
later withdrew that plea [EPA]
A military jury has convicted a US marine of conspiring to murder an Iraqi man in a bungled attempt to abduct and kill a suspected insurgent in Hamdania.
 
Corporal Trent Thomas, 25, was the first of eight soldiers to go to trial in the killing that squad members tried to cover up by planting a gun near the victim after he was shot in April 2006.
Several of the men pleaded guilty in the killing of Hashim Ibrahim Awad, a retired policeman and father of 11, but Thomas, who initially also pleaded guilty, later withdrew that plea.

His lawyer said Thomas was only following orders and he blamed repeated bomb blasts for impairing his judgment.

 

Thomas faces a maximum sentence of life in prison, according to his lawyer, Victor Kelley.

 

He was also convicted of kidnapping but acquitted of premeditated murder, making a false statement and housebreaking.

 

Prosecutors said that during a night-time patrol on April 26, 2006, Thomas's squad hatched a plan to kidnap and kill a suspected insurgent from his house in the town in al-Anbar province.

 

When they could not find him, they kidnapped Awad who lived nearby, instead.

 

Others accused in the case have testified that several squad members took Awad to a ditch and shot him to death.

Source:
Agencies
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