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Killing of Iraqi Civilians Index

Killings Database – Year 2007

 

 

The Iskandariya Killings

 

Background

Media Reports

Military Reports

Photo Credits

 

Newest Media Report: The Six-Letter Word That Changes Everything (11/6/2008/Esquire)

Newest Military Report: Soldier Found Guilty in Courts Martial (10/2/2008/Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory, Iraq)

 

Background - April/June 2007

 

“A U.S. soldier testified Thursday that he was ordered to shoot an unarmed Iraqi man, then his sergeant laughed and told the trooper to finish the job as the man convulsed on the ground. Sgt. Evan Vela cried during his testimony in the court-martial of Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, of Laredo, Texas. Sandoval is on trial for allegedly killing Iraqis and trying to cover up the deaths by planting weapons at the scene. […]

 

“Prosecutors claim the May 11 case involved the killing an Iraqi man with a 9mm pistol, placing an AK-47 rifle by his body and failing to ensure humane treatment of a detainee - the victim. Vela said Staff Sgt. Michael Hensley of Candler, N.C, told him to shoot the man, although he was not armed and had his hands in the air when he approached the soldiers. […] ‘He asked me if I was ready. I had the pistol out. I heard the word shoot. I don't remember pulling the trigger. It took me a second to realize that the shot came from the pistol in my hand,’ he said, crying and speaking barely above a whisper. […]”

 

Excerpt of an Associated Press article from September 27th, 2007.

The victim Genei al-Janabi

 

Recent Media Reports

 

June 11th, 2008 - The Six-Letter Word That Changes Everything

1 feature article by Esquire

 

May 9th, 2008 - Killing by the Numbers

1 feature article by Salon magazine

 

April 4th, 2008 - Idaho Lawmakers Appeal for Clemency for Soldier Convicted in Iraq

1 news article by the Associated Press

 

February 12th, 2008 - Evan Vela’s Dad Responds to His Son’s Sentence

1 news article by KPVI.com

 

February 10th, 2008 - US Soldier Convicted of Killing Iraqi

2 news articles by the Associated Press

 

The 2008 Media Reports File

The 2007 Media Reports File

 

 

Charges & Sentences at Military Tribunal

Defendant

Pleading

Original Main Charges

Sentences

Sentencing Dates

Michael A. Hensley

not guilty

premeditated murder

135 days confinement

November 8th, 2007

Evan Vela

not guilty

premeditated murder

10 years confinement

February 10th, 2008

Jorge G. Sandoval

not guilty

premeditated murder

5 months confinement

September 29th, 2007

 

Scenes from the Military Trial Proceedings

Evan Vela

Mustafa Ghani al-Janabi

Evan Vela

 

Military Reports

 

February 10th, 2008 - Soldier Found Guilty in Courts Martial

Press Release by the Public Affairs Office, Camp Victory, Multi-National Corps, Iraq

 

“[…] Sgt. Evan Vela was found guilty Feb. 10 on one specification of unpremeditated murder during a general courts martial at Camp Liberty Courthouse. Vela, a Soldier in 1st Battalion, 501st Airborne, was on trial for the murder of an Iraqi man as part of operations May 11 in Jurf as Sakhr.

 

“Vela was found guilty under Article 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice for conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline - wrongfully placing an AK-47 on the remains of a deceased person. He was also found guilty under UCMJ Article 107 for making a false official statement. The proceedings are currently in the sentencing phase. […]”

 

July 2nd, 2007 -  Additional Soldier Charged with Murder

Press Release by U.S. Central Command

 

Baghdad - A U.S. Soldier has been charged with murder in the death of an Iraqi citizen. The Soldier is the third to be named in an investigation of three alleged unjustified killings during recent military operations in Iraq.

 

These charges are accusations of wrongdoing. The Soldier is presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of any alleged offense.

 

The Soldier is assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 501st Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska. The unit is currently attached to Multi-National Division-Center, Iraq. The alleged offense occurred between April and June 2007 in the vicinity of Iskandariyah, Iraq.

 

Sgt. Evan Vela, of Phoenix, Idaho, is charged with one specification alleging premeditated murder, one specification alleging he wrongfully placed a weapon with the remains of a deceased Iraqi, one specification of making a false official statement, and one specification alleging obstruction of justice. Vela's charges were preferred July 1. He was also placed in pre-trial confinement July 1.

 

Murder charges were previously announced for Staff Sgt. Michael A. Hensley and Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, Jr., in connection with similar incidents.

 

The investigation by Unites States Criminal Investigation Division resulted from reports of the alleged wrongdoing made by fellow Soldiers to military authorities. The investigation continues.

 

June 30th, 2007 - Soldiers Charged with Premeditated Murder

Press Release by U.S. Central Command

 

Baghdad - Two US Army Soldiers have been charged with the premeditated murders of three Iraqi nationals in three separate incidents.  Charges were announced today.

 

These charges are merely an accusation of wrongdoing.  The soldiers are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt of any alleged offense.

 

The soldiers are assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 501 Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade (Airborne), 25th Infantry Division, based at Fort Richardson, Alaska.  The unit is currently attached to Multi-National Division - Center, Iraq.  Offenses are alleged to have occurred between April and June, 2007, in the vicinity of Iskandariyah, Iraq.  The two soldiers are charged as follows:

 

Staff Sergeant Michael A. Hensley, Candler, North Carolina - three specifications alleging premeditated murder, three specifications alleging obstruction of justice, and three specifications of wrongfully placing weapons with the remains of deceased Iraqis.  The Charges were preferred on June 28, 2007, and SSG Hensley was placed into pre-trial confinement in Kuwait on June 28, 2007.

 

Specialist Jorge G Sandoval, Jr., Laredo, Texas, one specification alleging premeditated murder and one specification alleging he wrongfully placed a weapon with the remains of a deceased Iraqi.  Spec. Sandoval's charges were preferred on June 28, 2007.

 

Specialist Sandoval was apprehended on June 26, 2007, while home in Texas, and transferred to pre-trial confinement in Kuwait on June 29, 2007.

 

The investigation by the United States Army Criminal Investigation Division resulted from reports of the alleged wrongdoing made by fellow soldiers to military authorities.  The investigation continues.

 

 

War Scenes from Iskandariya

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

 

Photo Credits

 

Background

 

1) The killing in question: Genei Nasir Khudair al-Janabi, photographed shortly after he was killed by the snipers of the 1-501. - May 11th, 2007 - U.S. Army/Esquire;

 

Scenes from the Military Trial Proceedings

 

1) U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Vela waits for the verdict outside the courthouse in Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. Sgt. Vela, an Army sniper was sentenced to 10 years in prison for murder of an Iraqi civilian. Vela, 24, was found guilty of murder without premeditation, aiding and abetting in the planting of an AK-47 on the dead man’s body and of later lying to military investigators about the incident. - February 10th, 2008 - Bradley Brooks/Associated Press;

2) Mustafa Ghani al-Janabi, son of the Iraqi man killed by U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Vela, stands outside the courthouse in Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. February 10th, 2008 - Bradley Brooks/Associated Press;

3) U.S. Army Sgt. Evan Vela waits for the verdict outside the courthouse in Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. - February 10th, 2008. - Bradley Brooks/Associated Press;

 

Scenes from Iskandariya

 

1) U.S. Army Sgt. Brince Conerly, left, team leader, and Spc. Charles Balance, driver, 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, retrieve supplies from their Humvee while other members of the platoon provide security in Iskandariya, Iraq. - May 19th, 2005 - Matthew Clifton/U.S. Army/Defend America Website;

2) U.S. Army soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, quickly review their mission before entering a village to gather intelligence information from local residents in Iskandariya, Iraq. - May 19th, 2005 - Matthew Clifton/U.S. Army/Defend America Website;

3) U.S. Army soldiers from 3rd Platoon, Company A, 1st Battalion, 155th Brigade Combat Team, Mississippi Army National Guard, question an Iraqi citizen about suspected insurgent activity in the area in Iskandariya, Iraq. - May 19th, 2005 - Matthew Clifton/U.S. Army/Defend America Website;

 

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