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Monday, October 08, 2007

Iraq - Ehren Watada's Trial Stayed!

AFP reports that U.S. District Court judge Benjamin Settle has stayed the trial of 1st Lt. Ehren Watada
... until a federal appeals court rules whether the proceedings would violate constitutional protection against "double jeopardy," trying someone twice on the same charge.


If a new trial proceeds and Watada is convicted on all charges, he faces up to six years in prison.

The US army says that a soldier must respect the chain of command and cannot choose which war to fight. Watada however said that under the US constitution he has the right to refuse an illegal order.
I don't know enough about military law and the Constitutional protections available to military personnel, but I believe the man is right. Otherwise, anyone could engage in war crimes and plead the Nazi defense of "obeying orders."

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