03 January 2010

How to throw a case, example 82

  1. Build your case on inadmissible evidence

The Guardian reports some fallout from the collapse of a court case in, "Iraq threatens action after Blackwater case collapses."

"Iraqi officials and relatives of 17 Iraqis who were killed in a crowded Baghdad square in September 2007 in an allegedly unprovoked shooting spree by Blackwater private security guards reacted with fury today to the decision by a US federal judge to dismiss all charges against five of the guards."

Whilst the New York Times explains that, "U.S. Lawyers Knew About Legal Pitfalls in Blackwater Case".

"WASHINGTON — The sudden blow to the case against the former Blackwater security guards over a shooting that killed 17 Iraqis and wounded at least 20 may have come as a surprise to the public in Iraq and the United States, but the legal problem that the judge cited Thursday when he threw out the indictments was obvious to American government lawyers within days of the shooting."

The judgment is here, US v Paul A Slough et al for closer scrutiny.


  1. NY Times is correct here, I think. Any 2nd year law student in USA would know this was likely to happen. And, of course, that raises the next question - if it was so blindingly obvious, could it be deliberate?

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  3. I meant to say,

    Depressing isn't it? I'd guess that it was deliberate ... it will be interesting to watch their careers develop.

    Note that the prosecution team was led by Kenneth C Kohl.