Marine acquitted in Fallujah death

US soldier found not guilty despite earlier admission of killing unarmed Iraqi detainee.

    Weemer's acquittal marked the government's second loss in its case against his squad [EPA]

    "I'm ecstatic to get back home to my wife and the life that I had, helping chemically-dependent homeless vets," Weemer told reporters after the verdict.

    "I have a lot of pride and honour in the Marine Corps."

    RELATED STORIES


    Obama seeks $83bn more for US wars
     Iraqi protesters call for US exit
     Marine acquitted in Fallujah death
     'Fallujah never leaves my mind'

    The court martial marked the government's second loss in its case against members of the squad.

    Captain Nicholas Gannon, the prosecutor at the court martial, called Weemer's defence argument "preposterous", saying that the soldier had made no reference to a struggle in interviews with the Secret Service and Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

    In his closing argument on Wednesday Gannon said the captives should have been ordered outside to the street instead of being shot, and that Weemer had failed to follow his training on rules of engagement.

    "I can't bring you an autopsy report," he said. "I don't have one, but we have a lot of evidence that shows you beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused shot an individual in the chest twice... The killing was unlawful."

    Earlier admission

    The case came to light in 2006 when Weemer told a US Secret Service agent during a job interview that he had been involved in an unlawful killing in Iraq.

    The admission prompted an investigation that led to charges against three marines - Weemer, Jose Nazario, the squad leader, and Sergeant Jermaine Nelson.

    Nazario, who had left the Marine Corps by the time charges were brought, was cleared by a civilian jury last year. Nelson is awaiting a court martial.

    During the one-week court martial, the defence argued that the government could not prove Weemer was guilty of murder because there were no bodies, no relatives complaining of a lost loved one and no forensic evidence.

    Paul Hackett, the defence lawyer, told the jury of officers that Weemer had been "manipulated" during the interview in which he confessed and that the death occurred during the "fog of war".

    "My interpretation was that they appreciated the chaos and kinetics of the environment," Hackett told reporters.

    "In real simple terms, they believed Sergeant Weemer was justified in shooting in self-defence."

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    Zimbabwe: What's happening?

    Zimbabwe: What's happening?

    Situation tense as thousands march in Harare to call for Robert Mugabe's resignation days after military takeover.