Ex-Blackwater guards get life, 30-year sentences for Baghdad massacre

 

Four men who worked for the private military contracting firm formerly known as Blackwater were sentenced in federal court on Monday, more than seven years after they massacred Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad.

A sentencing hearing for the four men – Nicholas Slatten, Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty and Paul Slough – began at 10 a.m. ET in Washington, DC on Monday. Later in the afternoon, the Washington Post reported that Slatten was handed a sentence of life behind bars, while his three ex-colleagues were each dealt 30-year sentences as a result of firearms convictions they were handed last fall.

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Six months earlier, a jury convicted Slatten, a former Blackwater security guard, of first-degree murder for his role in the infamous September 2007 ambush.

Together, the men participated in a rampage in the busy Baghdad traffic circle during the height of the Iraq War that left 14 civilians dead. Blackwater, which has since changed its name to Academi, had deployed the guards there along with others to provide diplomatic security services during the American-led military operation.

Attorneys for the former contractors filed an emergency motion on Friday asking the court to delay this week’s sentencing hearing in light of newly discovered evidence they wanted entered in the case, but the request was ultimately rejected that afternoon by US District Judge Royce Lamberth.

 

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