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Friday, April 25, 2014

Army Considers Court-Martial Of Soldier In 2007 Iraq Killings

The preliminary hearing for Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, accused of murdering two Iraqi boys in 2007, continues today at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

The preliminary hearing for Sgt. 1st Class Michael Barbera, accused of murdering two Iraqi boys in 2007, continues today at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington.

A preliminary military hearing at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington continues today to determine whether then-staff sergeant (now sergeant first class) Michael Barbera should face a court-martial in the March 2007 slayings of two unarmed Iraqi brothers.

The brothers were herding cattle in Diyala Province, near where Barbera’s Army reconnaissance team was hiding. Prosecutors say the boys posed no threat, but that Barbera went down on one knee, pointed his rifle, and killed them anyway.

And there are allegations of a cover-up — two years after the killings, Army criminal investigators looked over the case, and Barbera was issued a letter of reprimand.

It wasn’t until an investigation from the Tribune-Review, a Pittsburgh newspaper, that the Army filed charges against Barbera, who could face life in prison if he’s convicted of premeditated murder.

News Tribune reporter Adam Ashton joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the case.

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Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

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