Blackwater Murder Case Overturned By U.S. Appeals Court

By Aaron Kesel

A U.S. appeals court on Friday dismissed the first-degree murder charge against a former Blackwater employee, Nicholas A. Slatten, and ordered re-sentencings for three others convicted in the case.

Blackwater killed 17 Iraqi civilians during a 2007 assault on a Baghdad public square. Four of the guards were later convicted in U.S. court of either murder or manslaughter charges as a result of the incident after a 12-person jury found the men guilty of opening fire on the Iraqis denying them a retrial.

[RELATED: Blackwater Contractors Charged With Killing 14 Iraqis Denied Retrial]

Those men Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard may now face a retrial due to their sentencing being “cruel and unusual punishment” violating the Constitution.

The court found the 30-year terms of the three others who had been convicted of manslaughter — Paul A. Slough, 37, of Keller, Tex.; Evan S. Liberty, 35, of Rochester, N.H.; and Dustin L. Heard, 36, of Maryville, Tenn. — violated the constitutional prohibition against “cruel and unusual punishment.”

U.S. circuit judges, Karen LeCraft Henderson and Janice Rogers Brown, wrote that “we by no means intend to minimize the carnage attributable to Slough, Heard and Liberty’s actions. Their poor judgments resulted in the deaths of many innocent people,” the judges wrote.

Erik Prince, the founder of former mercenary firm Blackwater now Academi was under investigation in the U.S. for attempting to broker military services to foreign governments and money laundering last year.

[RELATED: Blackwater Founder Investigated For Ties To Chinese Intelligence And Money Laundering]

The Department Of Justice accused Prince of “allegations that he received assistance from Chinese intelligence to set up an account for his Libya operations through the Bank of China,” The Intercept reported.

Victoria Toensing, Prince’s lawyer said he has not been informed of any federal investigation and had not offered any defense services in Libya. Toensing further added, the money-laundering allegations are “total bullshit.”

Prince’s current company, Frontier Services Group, is based in Hong Kong; the current firm does not provide any military services.

Despite not being a military service, the company “conducts high-risk evacuations from conflict zones.” Prince has often described his work with FSG as being “on the side of peace and economic development” and helping Chinese businesses to work safely in Africa.

Beneath all this “charity work” The Intercept alleges that Prince was living a double life trying to reestablish his empire.

Prince sought to secretly rebuild his private CIA and special operations enterprise by setting up foreign shell companies and offering paramilitary services, according to documents reviewed by The Intercept and interviews with several people familiar with Prince’s business proposals.

Last year, FSG’s board grew so concerned about Prince’s efforts to sell paramilitary programs and services t0 foreign governments that they passed several resolutions that stripped Prince of most of his responsibilities as chairman of the company.

The Intercept interviewed several of Prince’s past and present business partners, as well as former U.S. intelligence officials and individuals familiar with the matter who all seem to say the same thing that Prince was involved in lucrative deals.

A former intel official told The Intercept that Prince had opened up an account allegedly with the Bank of China as recently as January “for the purpose of what is considered now in the investigation money laundering on behalf of the Libyans.”

“Money laundering for Libyan officials using a Chinese bank — that is the issue that pushed it over the edge” for the Justice Department, the intel official said.

Prince himself has never been charged despite being accused of smuggling weapons and murdering his associates according to a former Blackwater employee and an ex-US Marine who both filed sworn affidavits in 2009.

In those statements, they alleged that Prince and Blackwater had whistleblowers killed who were going to come forward with information on Prince’s past dealings to authorities, The Nation reported.

“It appears that Mr. Prince and his employees murdered, or had murdered, one or more persons who have provided information, or who were planning to provide information, to the federal authorities about the ongoing criminal conduct,” John Doe 2 said.

Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post and is Director of Content for Coinivore. Follow him at Twitter and Steemit. This article is Creative Commons and can be republished in full with attribution.

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21 Comments on "Blackwater Murder Case Overturned By U.S. Appeals Court"

  1. Garry Compton | August 5, 2017 at 3:46 am | Reply

    At first I thought the Court – when stating that it was “cruel and unusual punishment” that they were talking about those 17 that got killed ! Or that they were talking about the thousands incarcerated for smoking marijuana !

  2. Hmm. They didn’t mention Hillary Clinton’s assassinations. One would conjecture they would be going after her first, since Whitewater death numbers are orders of ten higher than even Blackwater.

    • What convictions are you referring to? And what do allegations by Clinton-haters have to do with mass murder by mercenaries?

      • All connected?

      • James Innewmex | August 5, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Reply

        Flynn dropped a dime on Obama and Hillary and Benghazi, orchestrated to kill Stevens who was spilling the beans in State cables.

        • Both parties know that Benghazi was the hdq for the smuggling of weapons (thru Turkey) to the terrorists in Iraq.

          There is no evidence or logic that Obama killed
          Stephens or that Stephans was revealing the US gun running operation.

          What hate website did you crib this bullshit from?

  3. Here again someone who thought he was more than what he really was. Tried to get away with it. I don’t see it as cruel and unusual punishment if you killed these people in cold blood murder unarmed. This time they got it wrong.

  4. This is a fake headlne: the Case will be retired and the judges mince no words that the killers are guilty. “U.S. circuit judges, Karen LeCraft Henderson and Janice Rogers Brown, wrote that “we by no means intend to minimize the carnage attributable to Slough, Heard and Liberty’s actions. Their poor judgments resulted in the deaths of many innocent people,” the judges wrote.”

    The crimeif mass murder has not been overturned Insist that Activistpost stop printing fake headlines as clickbait. it is ishonest and demeans activism. It is degraded journalism. We deserve better.

  5. Prince was just following the President’s lead. Killing people is second nature to the US government and if it can do it, why shouldn’t a private mercenary not be able to. After all its all about money, isn’t it?

    • James Innewmex | August 5, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Reply

      Absolutely about money and the Zionists’ one world government that takes all the world’s wealth including the peoples’ labor. Pray for Christ’s return and the destruction of all evil.

  6. If: “Those men . . . may now face a
    retrial due to their sentencing being “cruel and unusual punishment”
    violating the Constitution.”, then how can Ross Ulbricht possibly still be in jail?

  7. A horrific spectacle of depravity and genocide. …And this essentially unaccountable mercenary paradigm is speading to include Somalia, Somalia’s president a stooge for Qatari royals whose oil interests are being guarded by mercenaries and American troops. Chinese mercenary (“corporate security”) bases in Africa protecting Chinese investment interests, trained by Erik Prince. The Silk Road project. Kushner and Feinberg pushing for mercenary armies in Afghanistan. United Arab Emirates hiring South American mercenaries to fight in Yemen. Over 500 Russian mercenaries who fought in Donbas Ukraine currently participating in hostilities in Syria under Russia’s Ministry of Defense. Plus, an endless list of black ops to include ISIS.

  8. U.S. circuit judges, Karen LeCraft Henderson and Janice Rogers Brown,
    wrote that “we by no means intend to minimize the carnage attributable
    to Slough, Heard and Liberty’s actions. Their poor judgments resulted in
    the deaths of many innocent people,” the judges wrote

    Well, they did minimize it.

  9. James Innewmex | August 5, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Reply

    Hope the retrial results in double the punishment.

  10. Mercenaries – Satan’s answer for male whores, where the tool of the “trade” is a weapon rather than a vagina. Absolutely w/o ANY redeeming qualities. A killer to the highest bidder. Foul bastards.

  11. Disqus-helpsGOVTbreaklaws&kill | August 6, 2017 at 12:38 am | Reply

    Monsanto bought blackwater.

    what does Monsanto need a secret military for ?

  12. Having read this, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Prince was in collusion with Hillary.

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