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Archive for Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blackwater contractor will not be indicted in 2006 killing of Iraqi guard

October 19, 2010

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— A former security contractor for Blackwater USA will not be indicted in the killing of an Iraqi guard in 2006, federal prosecutors said Monday.

According to a congressional report, Seattle resident Andrew Moonen was wandering drunk around Baghdad’s Green Zone after a Christmas Eve party in 2006 when he encountered and fatally shot Raheem Saadoun, a 32-year-old guard for Iraqi Vice President Adil Abd-al-Mahdi.

But U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan said Monday that prosecutors decided there wasn’t enough evidence to sustain a criminal conviction for the killing.

“We do not do this lightly,” Durkan wrote in a letter to Moonen’s attorney, Stewart Riley. “There is no question that the shooting death of Mr. Saadoun by your client was a tragic event.”

Riley said he was elated for his client.

“He acted in self-defense,” Riley said. “He returned fire, ran for his life to a nearby checkpoint and reported the incident immediately.”

U.S. ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey has informed Iraqi government officials of Durkan’s decision, and provided a letter to be delivered to Saadoun’s family, the federal prosecutor’s office in Seattle said.

Durkan said Moonen admitted he shot Saadoun the day after the slaying, claiming self-defense.

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