Military court convicted a Jordanian soldier of killing three U.S. troops


Vastavam web: A military court convicted a Jordanian soldier Monday of killing three U.S. military trainers at a Jordanian air base and sentenced him to life in prison with hard labor.The defendant, who had pleaded “not guilty,” has said he opened fire because he feared the base was coming under attack.As he was led out of the courtroom, 1st Sgt. Marik al- Tuwayha said: “I have all the respect for the king, but I was doing my job.”In the letter given to The Associated Press, Moriarty listed several demands to Jordan, including allowing the defendant to be re-interviewed by the FBI about his motive and releasing security camera footage of the shooting that he said was entered into the trial records.
Some of the relatives have criticized Jordan’s handling of the case and called for the death penalty, saying the maximum possible sentence in this case, of life in prison, was inadequate.The three US Army Green Berets were killed Nov. 4, as their convoy waited at the gate to the al-Jafr base in southern Jordan. Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by disobeying entry rules, a claim that was later withdrawn.The victims were 27-year-old Staff Sgt. Matthew C Lewellen of Kirksville, Missouri; 30-year-old Staff Sgt Kevin J McEnroe of Tucson, Arizona; and 27-year-old Staff Sgt. James F Moriarty of Kerrville, Texas.
Jordan is a member of a US-led military coalition against Islamic State extremists in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Jordan hosts troops, including trainers, from the US and other countries as part of the anti-IS battle.The military court judge, Col. Mohammed al-Afeef, said at the start of the trial that the defendant had no known ties to militant groups.The defendant has said he had “no intention of killing anyone” and felt no resentment toward Americans.
However, security camera footage, as described by the bereaved relatives, shows the shooting lasted for six minutes.They have said the video shows the defendant reloading and shooting at Americans who were waving their hands and yelling: “We’re Americans! We’re friendly.”