Information On Ridgeway Case Defense attorneys sought to move the case to Utah, where one of the five guards lives, in hopes of appealing to conservative jurors who may be more sympathetic to the war in Iraq than those in Washington. But the Justice Department argued that the case should remain in Washington and a federal magistrate in Salt Lake City agreed, although defense attorneys can appeal for the right to return to Utah. Outraged Iraqis have waited more than a year to see how the U. The shooting by the largest U.
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By James Risen and Mark Mazzetti April 16, WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged the former president of Blackwater Worldwide and four other former senior company officials on Friday with weapons violations and making false statements in the first criminal inquiry to reach into the top management ranks of the private security company.
Prince, who was not charged, remains at the helm of the company, now known as Xe Services, while many other executives have left as the company has sought to reshape its public image in the face of mounting legal and political scrutiny. They could include charges for bribery and export violations, according to officials familiar with the case, perhaps under a strategy of turning former and current executives of the company against one another.
A federal grand jury in Raleigh, N. Blackwater sought to have the sheriff pose as the owner of the weapons because federal firearms law made it illegal for Blackwater to have so many of them, according to the indictment. Federal prosecutors charge that Blackwater shipped the weapons overseas with the barrels detached in an effort to avoid export regulations. Former Blackwater officials say that Mr. Jackson ran the company on a day-to-day basis, along with his top aide, Mr.
Reached by telephone, Mr. Jackson declined to comment. His lawyer, Kenneth Bell, did not return a call seeking comment. Bell told The Associated Press that the charges against Mr. Jackson were false. Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Xe Services, said that the company had been cooperating. Given the pending criminal charges, the company will not comment further. Five former Blackwater guards were charged with manslaughter in the September shooting in Nisour Square in Baghdad, but those charges were dismissed last December.
Two guards who worked for a Blackwater subsidiary in Afghanistan were arrested in January on murder charges in connection with a shooting in Kabul last May.
Other shootings have also been the subject of lengthy federal investigations, including one in in which a Blackwater guard killed an Iraqi guard. The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into whether Blackwater officials bribed Iraqi officials so the company could continue to operate in Iraq after the shooting.
U.S. Indicts 5 Blackwater Ex-Officials
There was no indication when a new criminal trial would begin. Prince, through his lawyer, Victoria Toensing, said he has not been informed of a federal investigation and had not offered any defense services in Libya. Undictment with a small cadre of loyalists — including a former South African commando, a former Australian air force pilot, and a lawyer with dual citizenship in the U. But a federal appeals court later reversed that decision, leading the government to seek a fresh indictment. Prince told colleagues that he received preliminary approval for the border force from a senior Libyan official, but would need to secure European support to loosen up restrictions on Libyan money and weapons, which would otherwise impede the plan, according to a person who discussed the proposal with Prince.
Nisour Square massacre
Information On Ridgeway Case "This is going to be a very dense, technical case with a ton of pre-trial issues that will have to be resolved before the first witness is called," writes Cohen. The law is murky on whether contractors can be charged in U. The guards face the prospect of year mandatory prison terms under the anti-machine gun law passed during the height of the crack cocaine epidemic. The sixth guard was identified as Jeremy Ridgeway.
Lessons of the Blackwater Indictments
Taylor, U. Mark Hulkower, defense attorney for Slough, blamed the killings on insurgents who used civilians as "shields" in Iraq. Hulkower said his client and the other defendants were just trying to do their jobs in a very chaotic situation. We are confident that this case will be dismissed.