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US to court martial GI in Iraq murder case
Updated: 2004-12-08 09:24

An American soldier who was the first to be investigated for murder in Iraq will be sent for full court martial, the U.S. army said Tuesday.

Captain Rogelio Maynulet is accused of murdering the driver of a car who had been shot and wounded by U.S. soldiers chasing suspected militia of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in May.

During the summer, the army carried out an investigation to decide whether to send Maynulet to court martial.

At the last of these hearings in October, Maynulet's lawyers had argued that the 29-year-old soldier had shot the driver at close range as an act of mercy because his injuries were so serious.

They said the victim would not have survived anyway, calling in a battery of experts to analyze the final moments before the killing which had been captured by a drone plane.

Maynulet, who was accompanied throughout the trial by his wife, a Black Hawk helicopter pilot, is based in Friedberg in the western German state of Hesse.

The U.S. Army said that there had been no date or location set for the trial yet.

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