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Blackwater merc jailed

By DMITRY KOSTYUKOV
June 28, 2011

Kabul, Afghanistan (AFP)

A US federal judge sentenced a former Blackwater security guard on Monday to 30 months in prison for shooting and killing an Afghan citizen in 2009.

The judge also ordered 29-year-old Justin Cannon to serve two years of supervised release after his prison term ends.

Cannon and a second Blackwater guard, Christopher Drotleff, 31, were convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the May 5, 2009 shooting of Romal Mohammad Naiem, an unarmed Afghan civilian.

Drotleff was sentenced to three years and one month in prison on June 14.

“Justin Cannon opened fire with an AK-47 at the rear of a retreating vehicle and took the life of an innocent Afghan,” said US Attorney Neil MacBride.

“While Mr. Cannon was in Afghanistan to support U.S. troops, his incredibly reckless behavior instead undermined our military mission and weakened the bond of trust with the Afghans,” MacBride said.

Both Cannon and Drotleff were accused of leaving their military base without authorization to transport local interpreters.

After the the lead vehicle in their convoy crashed during the nighttime outing and overturned on its side, they firing several multiple shots at a passing car, killing Naiem, who was a passenger in the car, and injuring the car’s driver.

Another Afghan man walking his dog in the area was also fatally shot. Both Drotleff and Cannon were acquitted of charges in his death and the shooting of the driver.

Blackwater was renamed Xe after it was caught up in several scandals in Iraq, in particular the deaths of between 14 and 17 civilians in Baghdad in September 2007.

 

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2 Responses to Blackwater merc jailed

  1. Carl Nemo

    June 30, 2011 at 12:28 am

    The ultimate question: Where in the world is Erik Prince the founder of Blackwater XE, now simply XE International.

    Many if not most of the renegade activities linked to this company lead back to this former USN SEAL He’ the son of a billionaire (deceased), seemingly turned ‘merc cowboy’ who’s company caused much controversy in Iraq.

    He fled this country due to judicial ‘heat’ and set up shop in Abu Dhabi, UAE where no doubt his dough will buy him lots of ‘party favors’ on behalf of jaded, corrupt sheiks.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/15/world/middleeast/15prince.html

    They say, “money can’t buy everything”… yes it can and more folks. ; )

    No doubt he still has patrons on our Congressional committees and elsewhere: I.E., his ‘bucks buddies’… / : |

    Carl Nemo **==

  2. Jon

    June 30, 2011 at 4:43 am

    I think he’s in Oman. Saw something about that awhile back.

    Still: 30 months? Three years? for murder? Mmmm… If you wanted to manufacture more Taliban, that’s how to go about it.

    J.