Thursday, September 9, 2010
At least two of the five US soldiers charged in the deaths of three Afghan civilians had kept body parts taken from Afghan corpses and threatened subordinates, according to new documents released by the US army.
Five soldiers – Calvin Gibbs, Adam Winfield, Jeremy Morlock and Michael Wagon, Andrew Holmes – have been charged with premeditated murder. The soldiers are accused of killing three civilians using guns and grenades, in the province of Kandahar earlier this year, even though they faced no immediate threat.
In charging papers released on Wednesday, prosecutors said Gibbs, the most senior of the charged members, was found in possession of “finger bones, leg bones and a tooth taken from Afghan corpses”.
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Wagon was found with a skull taken from an Afghan corpse.
Investigators said Morlock and Gibbs, in an attempt to derail the investigation, displayed the finger bones while threatening to kill another man “if he spoke aboutÂ drug use within the platoon to command and law-enforcement authorities”, the document said.
Gibbs is also accused of instructing a soldier to “lie to investigators when questioned about [his] platoon’s involvement in drug use and the unlawful killings of Afghan non-combatants”, the document said.
This article was posted: Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 4:24 am