North Carolina Two Marine officers in a unit that was accused of killing as many as 19 Afghan civilians in 2007 will not face criminal charges, the military said Friday.
Lt. Gen. Samuel Helland, the commander of U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Central Command, made the decision not to bring charges after reviewing the findings of a special tribunal that heard more than three weeks of testimony in January at Camp Lejeune.
The tribunal investigated allegations that as many as 19 Afghan civilians died when a unit of Lejeune-based Marine special operations troops opened fire after a car bomb targeted their convoy on March 4, 2007 in Nangahar Province.
It was the first time in more than 50 years the Marines empaneled a Court of Inquiry. The panel, comprised of two Marine Corps colonels and a lieutenant colonel, only considered the actions of the company's commander, 38-year-old Maj. Fred C. Galvin of the Kansas City, Kan., area, and a platoon leader, Capt. Vincent J. Noble, 29, of Philadelphia.