Jor­da­nian soldier gets life for killing three US train­ers

Muscat Daily - - REGION -

A Jor­da­nian court on Mon­day sen­tenced a soldier to life im­pris­on­ment over the killing of three Amer­i­can mil­i­tary train­ers out­side an army base last year.

The mil­i­tary court in Am­man found Maarik al Tawaiha (39) guilty of shoot­ing the train­ers as they waited to en­ter the King Faisal base at Al Jafr in south­ern Jor­dan on Novem­ber 4. The chargesheet did not in­di­cate that he had any ties to mil­i­tant groups.

The court sen­tenced him to ‘hard labour for life’, a term that usu­ally lasts 20 years but could stretch to a full life­time, a ju­di­cial of­fi­cial told an AFP cor­re­spon­dent at the court­house.

It also de­moted him from sergeant to sec­ond pri­vate and threw him out of mil­i­tary ser­vice.

The pros­e­cu­tion in June ac­cused him of ‘vol­un­tary man­slaugh­ter’ as well as ‘in­sult- ing the dig­nity and rep­u­ta­tion of the armed forces and vi­o­lat­ing mil­i­tary or­ders’. Tawaiha, who wore a suit at the hearing, had been in cus­tody since Novem­ber but de­nied the charges. The court had heard ev­i­dence from base guards and foren­sic ex­perts.

The Jor­da­nian army said in Novem­ber that the shoot­ing took place dur­ing an ex­change of fire at the gate of the base af­ter the car car­ry­ing the US train­ers failed to stop. An Amer­i­can de­fence of­fi­cial de­scribed the in­ci­dent as ‘green on blue’, a mil­i­tary term for when friendly forces at­tack US per­son­nel.

Tawaiha told the court he had opened fire on the cars car­ry­ing the Amer­i­can train­ers af­ter hearing gun­shots. Sus­pect­ing an at­tack on the base, he shot at them, killing the three Amer­i­cans and wound­ing a Jor­da­nian soldier.


Maarik al Tawaiha (left) stands be­hind bars dur­ing his trial in Am­man

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