13:16 GMT +316 October 2019
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    In this Feb. 20,2004 file photo, signs welcome visitors to the private North Carolina-based security company Blackwater USA's headquarters near Moyock, N.C.

    Ex-Blackwater Guard Found Guilty for Murdering Unarmed Iraqi - US Court

    © AP Photo / Karen Tam, FILE
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - A US federal court found former Blackwater guard Nicholas Slatten guilty of killing an unarmed Iraqi civilian more than a decade ago, the Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.

    "Slatten was found guilty today of the federal offense of first-degree murder in the killing of Ahmed Haithem Ahmed Al Rubia’y, one of 14 unarmed civilians who were killed in a shooting by Blackwater guards that took place at Nisur Square in Bagdhad on Sept. 16, 2007," the statement said on Wednesday.

    The sentencing date has not been set up yet. The murder charge calls for a mandatory sentence of life in prison, according to the release.

    Slatten is one of four former guards who were involved in the incident. They opened fire on unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, killing 14 people and leaving 17 others wounded.

    "Slatten initially was retried on the murder charge last summer but a mistrial was declared on September 5, 2018, after that jury was unable to reach a verdict," the Attorney's Office said. "The current trial began on November 5, 2018, and the jury reached the guilty verdict on its fifth day of deliberations."

    READ MORE: US Court Rejects Appeal From Blackwater Guards Convicted of Baghdad Massacre

    The incident with Blackwater guards sparked an international debate about the role of private security companies hired by the US government to work in war zones.

    The private military company Blackwater, founded in 1997, was later sold and rebranded as Academi.

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    US Court Rejects Appeal From Blackwater Guards Convicted of Baghdad Massacre
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    court, murder, Blackwater, Iraq, United States
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