Blackwater guards plead not guilty

US guards enter not guilty pleas over killing of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007.

    Dustin Heard, centre, and four other former guards are facing manslaughter charges [AFP]

    A sixth Blackwater guard has brokered a deal with prosecutors, pleading guilty to killing one Iraqi and wounding another, and is to testify against his former colleagues.

    Uncertain status

    Blackwater is the largest of several private security contractors operating in Iraq [AFP]
    The presence of private security firms such as Blackwater in Iraq has proved highly controversial, with the Iraqi government saying the firms act with impunity and that their legal status is unclear.

    Blackwater, based in the state of North Carolina, is the largest contractor providing security in Iraq.

    Much of its work for the US state department is in protecting US diplomats in the country.

    The company has not been charged in connection with the shooting.

    Critics say a new US-Iraqi security agreement which went into effect on January 1, replacing a United Nations mandate, still does not clarify the rules under which security firms in Iraq operate.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    Why Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel

    No country in the world recognises Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

    Malawi's fearsome chief, terminator of child marriages

    Malawi's fearsome chief, terminator of child marriages

    Chief Kachindamoto has broken up 850 child marriages in three years, and banned the sexual initiations of young girls.

    Blood-rusted Sword: Elite force of Saudi crown prince

    Blood-rusted Sword: Elite force of Saudi crown prince

    Al-Ajrab Sword Brigade, formed in 2015, comprises elite forces from across Saudi military ranks.