2010年12月7日火曜日

戦利品の軍法会議

戦利品の軍法会議があった。
 アフガニスタンに駐留する米陸軍の1部隊の兵士らが、戦闘員ではない
ことが明らかだった現地民間人を遊び半分に射殺したとされる事件で、
初の軍法会議が開かれ、出廷した軍曹が有罪を認めた。

Robert Stevens
・2等軍曹
・アフガニスタンの民間人に対して発砲したことなど、5つの軍規違反で起訴
・4つの容疑を認めた。
・ギブス2等軍曹に、「任務は正確に遂行しろと言われた」と証言。
・軍の調査官に対して、「携行式ロケット弾を持った男がいた」と虚偽の
 証言を認めた。
・懲役9ヵ月を宣告されて、兵卒へ降格。
・全ての賃金と手当ては没収。

アフガニスタンで、一般民間人への攻撃で起訴されたのは、全部で12人。
Robert Stevensは、残虐行為を父親に打ち明け、兵士だった父親から軍に
警告したが、無視されたため、告発を行い、懲役19年から9ヶ月になった
ようだ。

民間人への攻撃では、上官だったCalvin Gibbsが殺害として起訴。
死体から戦利品として指を切り取ったり、武器を収集していたと軍法会議で
証言されている。

在留米軍基地周辺でも、根底には、軍曹達みたい思っている人が多いの
だろうか。窃盗、暴行、殺人等が報道されない時はない。

米陸軍 戦利品は頭蓋骨


---アフガン民間人殺害で軍法会議、駐留米兵の1人が有罪認める---
2010年12月02日 14:33 発信地:ワシントンD.C./米国
http://www.afpbb.com/article/war-unrest/2777518/6537669?utm_source=afpbb&utm_medium=topics&utm_campaign=txt_topics

 【12月2日 AFP】アフガニスタンに駐留する米陸軍の1部隊の兵士らが今年3月、戦闘員ではないことが明らかだった現地民間人を遊び半分に射殺したとされる事件で1日、初の軍法会議が開かれ、出廷した1人目の軍曹が有罪を認めた。
 被告のロバート・スティーブンス(Robert Stevens)2等軍曹(25)は、3月に野外でアフガニスタンの民間人に対して発砲したことなど、5つの軍規違反で起訴されている。スティーブンス被告は、敵性戦闘員ではなく民間人だと分かっていた男性たち「の方向へ」発砲したことなど、4つの容疑を認めた。
  米軍は今年初め、アフガニスタン民間人3人が殺害された襲撃事件に絡み、兵士約10人を起訴した。中には、遺体の一部を切り取り持ち帰った兵士もいた。全員がカンダハル(Kandahar)州のラムロッド前線作戦基地(Forward Operating Base Ramrod)の所属で、同じく起訴されているカルビン・ギブス(Calvin Gibbs)2等軍曹が主犯格だったとみられている。
 スティーブンス被告によると、部隊は巡回警備中、畑にアフガニスタン人男性数人がいるのを見つけた。男性たちは兵士たちから身を隠すことなく堂々と歩いており、「彼らが脅威ではないことは分かっていた」(スティーブンス被告)。
  しかしギブス2等軍曹は、男の1人が携行式ロケット弾を持っていると言い、他の兵士たちに銃撃体勢に入るよう命じた。スティーブンス被告は「発砲したが、わざと大きく外して撃った。するとギブス2等軍曹に、任務は正確に遂行しろと言われた」と証言した。また、後に軍の捜査に対して、ギブス2等軍曹の発言に合わせ、携行式ロケット弾を持った男がいたと虚偽の証言をしたことも認めた。
 スティーブンス被告は殺人では起訴されておらず、容疑の大半を認めたことで司法取引を行う可能性が生じた。スティーブンス被告に対する軍法会議の結果は、同じく起訴されている他の兵士の審判にも影響を及ぼすとみられている。


---US soldier Robert Stevens guilty of Afghan attacks---
2 December 2010 Last updated at 05:10 GMT
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-11890392

A US Army staff sergeant has pleaded guilty to attacks on Afghan civilians as part of a deal which requires him to give evidence against other soldiers.

Robert Stevens was sentenced to nine months in prison and demoted after he admitted "shooting in the direction" of two Afghans, and lying to officials.

Prosecutors at his court martial dropped a count of conspiracy to commit aggravated assault on three Afghan men.

Sgt Stevens is one of 12 soldiers charged over the attacks on civilians.

Five of the accused are charged with killing three Afghan civilians in Kandahar province this year, but Sgt Stevens is not among them.

The BBC's Rajesh Mirchandani in Los Angeles says the most serious charge the medic faced was that he fired at unarmed Afghan men.

He could have been sentenced to a total of 19 years for his crimes. Apart from the nine months' detention, he will be demoted to the rank of private and must forfeit all pay and allowances while serving his sentence.

Sgt Stevens lied that a group of Afghan civilians posed a threat by falsely saying he had seen one of them with a rocket-propelled grenade, our correspondent says.

Army prosecutors have said the other accused men conspired to kill unarmed Afghans for sport and to cover up the killings by fabricating a story about coming under attack.
Heavy fighting

Based at Fort Lewis in Washington state, they were attached to the Army's 5th Stryker Brigade, which deployed to Afghanistan last year and saw heavy fighting around Kandahar.

The alleged killing of Afghan civilians took place in March this year while the unit was deployed to Forward Operating Base Ramrod.

One man, Staff Sgt Calvin Gibbs, is accused of taking finger bones, leg bones and a tooth from Afghan corpses as trophies and of showing fingers to another soldier and threatening to kill him if he reported drug use to commanding officers.

Sgt Gibbs's lawyer has said his client maintains the shootings were appropriate engagements with the enemy and denies any conspiracy to murder Afghans.

According to charging documents obtained from the Army, Sgt Stevens is accused of throwing a grenade from his Stryker armoured vehicle "while there was no immediate threat to himself or other soldiers".

In May, he lied to military investigators, telling them he thought the men were armed with a rocket-propelled grenade, prosecutors said.

Correspondents say the legal proceedings in the matter are likely to be complex, in part because of the difficulty of gathering evidence and witness testimony from the Afghan war zone.


---Soldier reaches deal to testify in Afghan shooting---
The Associated Press
Wednesday, December 1, 2010; 10:13 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/01/AR2010120104696.html

JOINT BASE LEWIS-McCHORD, Wash. -- An Army staff sergeant charged with shooting at unarmed Afghans this year pleaded guilty Wednesday in a deal that requires him to testify against other defendants implicated in an alleged scheme to kill civilians for kicks.

Staff Sgt. Robert Stevens, of Portland, Ore., admitted to aggravated assault, lying to investigators and other charges at his court-martial. Prosecutors dropped a conspiracy charge as part of the plea agreement.

A military judge, Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks, accepted the agreement and late Wednesday sentenced Stevens to nine months in confinement and a reduction in rank to private. Army spokeswoman Maj. Kathy Turner said Stevens must forfeit all pay and allowances during his confinement.

Five soldiers are charged with killing three civilians in Kandahar Province this year.

Stevens is not one of them but acknowledged that in March he followed an order from Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs to shoot at two Afghans in a field who posed no threat. Those Afghans were not injured.

Stevens and six others face other misconduct allegations, ranging from drug use to beating up a fellow soldier, stemming from an investigation of the unit's activities.

Stevens could provide valuable testimony against Gibbs, the highest ranking soldier charged in the killings. Gibbs is accused of leading the alleged murder plot and putting together a "kill team" to carry out unprovoked attacks. He insists all the shootings were justified.

Stevens, a friend of Gibbs, told investigators that he joined Gibbs on patrols even though he was in a different unit. In March, Gibbs ordered Stevens and several other soldiers to join him in shooting at two unarmed men standing in a field, Stevens told investigators.

They missed.

"When SSG Gibbs called for us to fire I knew there was not a threat, and that there was no reason to shoot these guys," Stevens said in a written statement.

"I was extremely thankful to find out that we had not killed or wounded either of those two individuals, and I regret not trying to stop Staff Sgt. Gibbs from trying to kill innocent people," he said in a sworn statement.

Stevens also said Gibbs had shown him a finger he claimed to have cut from the body of an Afghan National Army or Afghan National Police member killed by a roadside bomb, and that Gibbs illicitly collected weapons. Others claimed that Gibbs dropped such weapons near the bodies of civilians to make them appear to have been combatants.

During his court-martial Wednesday, Stevens said Gibbs gave him one illicitly obtained grenade. The News Tribune of Tacoma reported that Stevens said he threw it out of a Stryker vehicle and claimed it had been tossed by an enemy combatant - an incident that resulted in him being awarded a combat action badge.

"There was no reason for it," Stevens said in court.

The charges to which he pleaded guilty were aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon, endangering other soldiers, dereliction of duty and making a false statement.

The plea agreement requires Stevens to testify against the other defendants as needed by prosecutors.


---War crimes hearing begins for soldier in Afghan deaths---
November 09, 2010|By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times

Investigators tell of severed fingers, death threats and deliberate killings of innocent civilians.

Reporting from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. - The alleged ringleader of what authorities say was a rogue U.S. Army platoon in Afghanistan goaded his comrades into killing innocent Afghan civilians and threatened to kill a fellow soldier if he told anyone about drug use in the platoon, an Army investigator testified Tuesday.

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, facing three counts of murder in one of the most serious war crimes cases of the war in Afghanistan, produced a collection of severed fingers from Afghan corpses and, along with co-defendant Cpl. Jeremy Morlock, used them to intimidate Pfc. Justin Stoner, who already had been stomped and beaten by half a dozen members of his unit, Army investigator Anderson Wagner said his interviews revealed.

"After the assault, he claimed that he had his life threatened by Staff Sgt. Gibbs and Cpl. Morlock, when they produced severed fingers and told him if he didn't want to end up like this guy, that he better keep his mouth shut," Wagner testified.

Morlock, when he was brought in for questioning, was initially "scared for his own safety," Wagner said, but eventually revealed that the platoon's misdeeds had gone far beyond hashish smoking and the beating.

The 22-year-old soldier from Wasilla, Alaska, gave detailed accounts of the deliberate and apparently opportunistic killings of three Afghan men encountered by soldiers on patrols, which Morlock and others said were incited by Gibbs and then staged to look like defensive combat encounters.

"He just really doesn't have any problems with … killing these people," Morlock said in a taped interview introduced in the Article 32 hearing that began Tuesday to determine whether Gibbs, accused along with 11 other soldiers, should be tried in a full court-martial. The tape was not played in court but was obtained by ABC News.

Gibbs, 26, of Billings, Mont., is the highest-ranking of the 12 members of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division platoon facing charges. Five of the 12 defendants are charged with murder.

The tall, lanky Gibbs sat clad in camouflage gear at the defense table surrounded by his lawyers. His wife, Chelsy M. Gibbs, sat quietly in the gallery.


---Hearing set for soldier in war-crimes case---
Originally published Friday, November 5, 2010 at 9:38 PM
By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times staff reporter
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013359788_soldier06.html

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, a key figure in a platoon accused of Afghanistan war crimes, will face a pretrial hearing Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Gibbs' charges include allegedly murdering three Afghan civilians, assaulting a fellow soldier and the possession of human body parts.

Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, a squad leader in a platoon under investigation for Afghanistan war crimes, faces a pretrial hearing next week at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Army officials announced Friday.

Gibbs, a key figure in the case, is charged with crimes that include the murder of three Afghan men, assaulting a fellow soldier and possessing body parts from corpses.

Gibbs served with the 5th Brigade 2nd Infantry Division, and assumed a platoon squad-leader position last November. In the weeks that followed, Gibbs allegedly organized a team of soldiers willing to carry out random executions and then place weapons by the corpses to make the killings appear to be legitimate battlefield deaths.

The pretrial Article 32 hearing that begins Tuesday will help Army commanders decide whether there is enough evidence to conduct a court-martial.

If convicted on all charges, Gibbs, a 26-year-old soldier who served three tours of duty in combat zones, could face a sentence of life imprisonment or death.

In a meeting with Army investigators in May, Gibbs said all the killings he was involved in were the result of combat. He said any suggestions to the contrary were "offensive."

In addition to Gibbs, four other soldiers have been charged with involvement in one or more of the three murders.

Seven other soldiers have been charged with lesser crimes, including personal possession of photos of human casualties, illegal drug use and assault.

Much of the evidence against Gibbs is summarized in an Army investigative report, which indicates that six platoon members named the staff sergeant as the man who organized a team to kill unarmed Afghans.

Gibbs also is accused of striking another soldier who had informed on members of the platoon smoking hashish. Gibbs allegedly threw two human fingers down on the ground and threatened that soldier with death, according to statements from other soldiers cited in the Army investigative report.

As part of their investigation, Army agents also have tried to gain more documentation of an incident from Gibb's 2004-2005 tour in Iraq. In a conversation with Spc. Jeremy Morlock, Gibbs allegedly claimed to have killed members of an Iraqi family traveling in a car.

Gibbs has been held by the Army in pretrial confinement in Buckley, Pierce County.

In Billings, Mont., some have rallied to his defense.

"I have experienced a lot of good kids, and Calvin was one of them," wrote Mary Mattheis, who worked as a crosswalk guard at a school Gibbs attended, in a letter to the editor published in The Billings Gazette. "We need to remember what war does to our American soldiers and need to pray for all of them and not judge what has happened to Calvin and company until we hear both sides of the story. They are all going through a lot."

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