Judge denies new trial bid for ex-US guards in Iraq shooting

AP News
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Posted: Nov 11, 2015 11:25 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — A federal judge won't give a new trial to four former security contractors convicted in a mass shooting of Iraqi civilians in 2007.

U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth denied the request in an order dated Tuesday, saying the "weight of evidence is heavily against the men."

The guards — State Department contractors for the Blackwater Worldwide security firm — were convicted last year in federal court and given long prison sentences in April.

Defense lawyers sought a new trial on grounds that a statement submitted by a witness before the sentencing contradicted testimony that he had given at trial.

Lamberth rejected that argument and said other testimony in the case corroborated the witness's accounts.

The order clears the way for the defendants to appeal the verdicts.