December 31st, 2009
03:47 PM ET
3 months ago

Charges dismissed against Blackwater contractors

Washington (CNN) - A federal judge dismissed all charges Thursday against security contractors from the former Blackwater in connection with the 2007 deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in a Baghdad square, ruling that prosecutors wrongly used against the men statements that they had given under duress.

The September 2007 incident led Iraq's government to slap limits on security contractors hired by Blackwater, now known as Xe, and other firms.

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina found that the government's case was built largely on "statements compelled under a threat of job loss in a subsequent criminal prosecution," a violation of the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

"In their zeal to bring charges against the defendant in this case, the prosecutors and investigators aggressively sought out statements the defendants had been compelled to make to government investigators in the immediate aftermath of the shooting and in the subsequent investigation," Urbina wrote in a 90-page decision.

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Filed under: Justice Department
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. SLC, UT

    Really? So if this happened here, by another nation we wouldn't be curious?

    December 31, 2009 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  2. all the news that's fit to omit

    Wait a minute, you gutless never served a day but hammer people that do liberals SAID THESE PEOPLE WERE GUILTY, how is this possible that they were found not liable during your heroes reign of "error"?

    You all must have "acted stupidy" and appeared to be nothing but "typical" people who "cling" to hatred and despise the uh, uh, uh facts.

    Happy new years my leftist friends, this is your last new years in power, be prepared for a slaughter in 2010.

    December 31, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  3. Linda

    I'm shocked...shocked! Really?

    December 31, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  4. JonDie

    A "white wash" for Black Water, another black eye for the U.S. justice system. Corruption won...again. And to think that people thought Whitewater was a big deal.

    December 31, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. Black Viper

    Oh yeah corruption at it's best in all segments of the government.
    THE POOR GOES TO JAIL AND THE RICH IS SET FREE.

    December 31, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    This is very good news. In spite of how some liberals might want to spin this, these men and women are over there doing America's work and providing security to our citizens. It's some of the most difficult and dangerous work there is and we should thank every one of them.

    December 31, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  7. Fooled Again

    Look's like they use the Constitution to get charges dismissed and ignore the Constitution when they commit the charges.

    Oh well, I'm sure someone will be ticketed for a seatbelt infraction today.

    December 31, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  8. Wmscot

    This is just wrong !
    From the corporate "Mercs" to the Halliburton's of the world there just is no accountibility. No wonder the people of the world feel we have lost our course of direction. These people need to be prosecuted and taken to prison. All of them, from their poltical bosses to the ones that have done the deed !

    December 31, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  9. Stu - Las Vegas

    You have got to be kidding me? Killing civilians is okay? and, you wonder why other countries hate us so much.

    Even this so called "judge" should be fired!

    December 31, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  10. An American

    Great news for Cheney, he can continue to keep these guys on his payroll.

    December 31, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. jared

    my god tells me; that you might get by......... BUT YOU CAN'T GET AWAY........ we all have a day where we will have to stand before the true and living judge for will open the books on us all ....... they are guilty of murder. only in america where if your white its alright, and walk free when you have killed...

    December 31, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  12. Annie, Atlanta

    Blackwater wins again. They kill 17 civilians in cold blood and walk free. This is criminal.

    December 31, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    "Wait a minute, you gutless never served a day but hammer people that do liberals SAID THESE PEOPLE WERE GUILTY, how is this possible that they were found not liable during your heroes reign of "error"?
    You all must have "acted stupidy" and appeared to be nothing but "typical" people who "cling" to hatred and despise the uh, uh, uh facts.
    Happy new years my leftist friends, this is your last new years in power, be prepared for a slaughter in 2010."

    Sorry, Sparky, those men were mercenaries involved in an illegal war for uh, uh, uh, corporate profit. And I wouldn't count my chickens before the 2010 elections despite what Fox News tells you to believe. Have a nice uh, uh, uh,day!

    December 31, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  14. tpbco

    Sorry folks, this is how our legal system "works".

    AND WHY WE SHOULD BE AGAINST BRING TERRORISTS HERE FOR TRIAL. THEY WILL GET THE SAME KIND OF JUSTICE

    December 31, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |