Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutors used perjured testimony to secure guilty verdicts for four decorated veterans accused of indiscriminately shooting into a crowd of Iraqi civilians in September 2007 while working as private contractors for Blackwater, argue some of the defendants’ family members.
Nicholas Slatten of Sparta, TN, one of the former Blackwater guards, was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in April. The other three — Paul Slough of Keller, TX, Evan Liberty of Rochester, NH, and Dustin Heard of Maryville, TN — were convicted of numerous counts of voluntary manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, in addition to a firearms offense, and in April were sentenced to nearly 30 years behind bars.
All four decorated war veterans were convicted for their role in allegedly killing 14 unarmed Iraqi civilians, including women and children, and wounding 18 others on Sept. 16, 2007 at Nisur Square in Baghdad.
Breitbart News spoke to Christin Slough, wife of Paul Slough, and Jessica Slatten, Nicholas Slatten’s sister.
During Breitbart News Sunday’s broadcast on Sirius XM radio Patriot channel 125, Christin and Jessica accused DOJ prosecutors of relying on perjured testimony from an Iraqi police officer to secure the guilty verdict of the four defendants.
Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office that handled the case, declined to comment on the allegations made by Christin and Jessica.
The Iraqi officer, identified only as Mr. Monem, was the DOJ’s key witness in support of its theory that the four defendants committed crimes in Nisur Square.
Federal Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the District of Columbia, who tried the case, has yet to make a decision on whether or not he will grant the defendants a new trial given that Mr. Monem lied on the stand.
Christin and Jessica argue that four decorated combat veterans are currently sitting in jail for defending themselves in war-torn Iraq.
“An Iraqi police officer testified during trial and then in connection with the sentencing process submitted what’s called a victim impact statement that is so inconsistent with his trial testimony and is so contrary to the government’s theory of the case,” Jessica said on the Breitbart News Sunday radio show.
“He took the stand and he gave a completely different account during trial, then he gave in his victim impact statement,” she added. “Essentially, he lied during trial.”
The defendants did not get the victim impact statement filed by the Iraqi police officer until after they were convicted, limiting their ability to shed light on the discrepancy of the testimony while the trial was going on.
After the jury had already rendered its verdict, the defendants became aware that “The entire theory of their case was based on this testimony that was perjured. So, we’ve asked the judge to find that totally undermines any confidence in the jury’s verdict and requires a new trial. We’re waiting on the judge to rule whether or not we can get a new trial,” said Jessica.
If the defendants are not granted a new trial, they plan to appeal the verdict.
The DOJ most likely knew the police officer’s testimony was perjured, according to Mrs. Slough.
“It’s clear that he perjured his testimony. It’s almost as disturbing that the DOJ had every reason to believe that the testimony was perjured from the outset,” she said on the Breitbart News Sunday radio show.
The DOJ took the side of the Iraqis versus American security contractors who were also war veterans.
Christin said that she absolutely believes the trial was completely politicized from the beginning, a sentiment she shares with her husband, one of the defendants who is currently behind bars.
“This is political,” Mr. Slough told Breitbart News via email from his federal detention facility.
“Vice President Joe Biden all but promised a guilty verdict during a visit to Iraq. How we even got to this point is a novel in itself, but between the Vice President’s comments, the judge’s predisposition, and the aiding and abetting charge – the writing was on the wall,” he continued, adding:
This same judge who showed no sense of care or engagement cried at our sentencing, stating…’ You are all fine young men, who just panicked.’ I am no legal scholar but, setting aside the fact that the evidence in the case doesn’t support the conviction, panicking does not warrant a 1st Degree Pre-Meditated Murder charge, Voluntary Manslaughter, Attempted Manslaughter and a 30 year mandatory minimum charge for weapons we were issued and required to carry. The judge and the prosecutors had their marching orders, and they executed perfectly.
According to Mr. Slough, Attorney General Eric Holder held a subsequent party to celebrate their victory, and all the Assistant U.S. Attorneys involved in the case have received big promotions.
Mr. Slough’s faith is keeping him strong while he sits in prison.
“We are ever closer to being a Nation of Men, having completely forsaken the rule of law,” he said. “All of that being said, I am optimistic because 1Corinthians 4:5 says ‘…all things hidden will be brought to light…’”