Jordanian soldier gets life term for killing 3 US troops

17 July, 2017, 22:58 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Life Sentence for Jordan Soldier In Killing of US Troops

"I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job", said al-Tuwayha, who pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder, as he was escorted out of the court.

A Jordanian military court has convicted a soldier of killing three US military trainers in a shooting past year.

The US soldiers' family members were in court to hear the verdict on Monday. Ma'arik Al-Tawayha for killing the three service members.

In addition to extradition, the families are also asking for "military or criminal charges against all the Jordanian military gate guards and the barrel truck operators for dereliction of duty for failing to protect the lives of our soldiers or cowardly conduct under fire". The convicted was also fired from the military service, according to the court ruling.

He did not react when the judge announced the verdict and the maximum possible sentence, life in prison with hard labour.

The US Embassy said, "We are reassured to see the perpetrator brought to justice".

Moriarty's father, Jim, wrote in a letter Monday to the Jordanian Embassy in the US that the "successful prosecution" was a "good first step, but it is only the first step".

None of the American soldiers had fired a weapon, despite Jordan's initial statement the behavior of the USA special forces had somehow triggered the shooting.

Witnesses to the November 4 incident said that a four-car convoy was entering the base when Jordanian guards heard a low sound and thought it might be a pistol shot.

However, relatives of the slain United States troops have described security camera footage that they say shows him shooting for six minutes, reloading and aiming at the Americans, even as they identify themselves as friendly forces. But US officials disputed this and a subsequent US military investigation found surveillance footage of the event. During the trial, he testified that he harbored no animosity towards Americans.

In 2015 a Jordan police captain opened fire at an officer training center killing two Americans and several others. Moriarty and another soldier jumped out of their cars to take cover and returned fire from their pistols, according to the descriptions of the video.

Moriarty's actions distracted their attacker, allowing a fourth Green Beret to come around the other side of a cement barrier and fire at the guard until al-Tawayha "fell to the ground and was no longer a threat".

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