Yet Another Blackwater Case Collapses

Issues with evidence, immunity make prosecution tough
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 21, 2010 9:24 AM CDT
Yet Another Blackwater Case Collapses
In a Monday, July 21, 2008 file photo, Blackwater Worldwide's headquarters is seen in Moyock, N.C.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

Legal cases against Blackwater employees accused of committing murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan have been collapsing one by one, the New York Times reports. This week, the Justice Department dropped a case against an armorer accused of killing a guard to an Iraqi official; the move is the latest in a series of cases dropped due to difficulty gathering evidence, establishing jurisdiction, and working around promises of immunity. “The battlefield is not a place that lends itself to the preservation of evidence,” said an expert.

In the latest case, Andrew Moonen had been offered a “Garrity warning”—meaning he could be fired for not talking, but he was immune to being prosecuted for his comments. Meanwhile, the law is unclear on the prosecution of contractors, like Blackwater, who worked for the State Department as opposed to the Defense Department, whose contractors are subject to criminal prosecution under the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act.
(More Blackwater stories.)

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