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Former US mercenaries face trial over Iraqi deaths

FOUR ex-mercenaries from notorious US security firm Blackwater will face trial tomorrow in the killings of 14 Iraqi civilians and the wounding of 18 others.

The violence at the Nisoor Square roundabout in central Baghdad on September 16 2007 was the darkest episode of contractor violence during the war in Iraq, becoming a diplomatic disaster.

Blackwater’s men have been brought to court only following years of delays. 

Founder Erik Prince declared: “I believe we acted appropriately at all times.” 

The shootings and the attendant publicity spelled the death knell for his company, which is now under new ownership. 

The company was sold to a group of investors who changed the name to Academi.

Nicholas Slatten is charged with first-degree murder.  The other three guards  — Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — are charged with voluntary manslaughter, attempted manslaughter and various gun charges.

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