The government isn't retreating from a new criminal case against a group of former private security guards who were first charged in 2008 with manslaughter for their alleged roles in a shooting in Iraq that left more than a dozen civilians dead.
The case against the former Blackwater security guards collapsed in late 2009 when a federal trial judge in Washington concluded the government improperly relied on evidence, including protected statements the guards made to government officials in the aftermath of the gunfire. In 2011, however, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit revived the controversial prosecution.
Prosecutors told a judge today at a hearing that the government is moving forward with a superseding indictment and should have new charges finalized in the next six-to-eight weeks. The prosecution today didn't go into detail whether the scope of the charges would be markedly different from the manslaughter and weapons violations case the government first brought.
Whether or not all five men remain a part of any new case remains unknown. One of the guards, Nicholas Slatten, whom the government dismissed from the earlier prosecution, contends he cannot be brought back into any new case.