Saturday, June 30, 2007

Two soldiers charged with murder of three Iraqis, coverup

Above: Paratroopers from 1st Battalion, 501 Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade, 25th Infantry Division -- the same unit as the soldiers charged with murder -- move into a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter at the start of night-time air assault raids on 'enemy sanctuaries' from Forward Operating Base Iskandariyah on June 4. On May 12th an attack in the area of the alleged murders left 5 soldiers dead and 3 soldiers captured, resulting in a weeks-long massive search involving over 10,000 soldiers.

Two U.S. soldiers were charged with the premeditated murder of three Iraqis... the U.S. military said Saturday.

The soldiers are accused of killing three Iraqis in separate incidents, then planting weapons on the victims’ remains, the military said in a statement. Fellow soldiers reported the alleged crimes, which took place between April and this month in the vicinity of Iskandariyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, it said.

The U.S. military on Saturday identified the soldiers as Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley from Candler, N.C., and Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval from Laredo, Texas.

Hensley is charged with three counts each of premeditated murder, obstructing justice and “wrongfully placing weapons with the remains of deceased Iraqis,” the military said. He was placed in military confinement in Kuwait on Thursday.

Sandoval faces one count each of premeditated murder and placing a weapon with the remains of a dead Iraqi, a statement said. He was taken into custody Tuesday while at home in Texas, and was transferred to military confinement in Kuwait three days later, it said.

Read the rest at Army Times