Blackwater security guard will face third murder trial in 2007 Iraqi civilian massacre
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department said Friday it will continue prosecuting a former security contractor for allegedly killing civilians during the Iraq War despite years of litigation that so far has ended in failure for the government.
The defendant, Nicholas Slatten, a former Army sniper who was a civilian security contractor in Iraq, has gone on trial twice on murder charges stemming from a notorious 2007 incident in which guards employed by the Blackwater security company opened fire on civilians in Baghdad’s Nisour Square.
After a federal appeals panel threw out guilty verdicts rendered by the jury in Slatten’s first trial, and after his second trial ended with a hung jury this month, prosecutors said Friday in Washington that they plan to pursue a third trial.
Judge Royce C. Lamberth scheduled opening statements for Nov. 5, with jury selection set for late October.