A US army sergeant charged with murdering 16 Afghan civilians last year has agreed to plead guilty in a bid to avoid the death penalty, his lawyer said.
The US Army will seek the death penalty for a soldier charged in massacre of 16 Afghan civilians, the Associated Press reports.
John Henry Browne, the lawyer defending Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, says US forces in Afghanistan have blocked his team's investigations into the killing of 17 Afghanistan civilians.
John Henry Browne, who is defending Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, the US soldier accused of murdering 17 Afghan civilians, says the Afghanistan authorities are not helping his team in their investigations.
When asked about the Staff Seargant, Browne said he was holding up.
– Srgt Robert Bales' lawyer John Henry Browne
He's holding up. He's seeing a chaplain and the military custodial people are treating him well. Not specially in a good way and not specially in a bad way. So he is being treated well
John Henry Browne, the lawyer defending Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, says US forces in Afghanistan have blocked his team from interviewing injured civilians at a hospital in Kandahar, and are not keeping track of other potential witnesses.
US authorities have given cash compensation to the families of Afghans killed in a shooting allegedly carried out by the American soldier Srgt Robert Bales.
The families received around $50,000 for each person killed and about $10,000 for each wounded in the shootings in two villages in Panjwai district earlier this month.
Details of the compensation were given by a family member of one of the people killed.
An ISAF spokesman said he was in not in a position to either confirm or deny whether compensation was given, and if so how much.
Staff Sgt Robert Bales may face the death penalty if found guilty of charges relating to an alleged shooting spree in Afghanistan on March 11th. A US Army statement read:
The maximum possible punishment for a premeditated murder conviction is a dishonorable discharge from the Armed Forces, reduction to the lowest enlisted grade, total forfeiture of pay and allowances, and death (with a mandatory minimum sentence of imprisonment for life with eligibility for parole).
Staff Sgt Robert Bales has been charged with 17 counts of murder and six further counts of assault and attempted murder after a shooting spree which resulted in the deaths of 17 Afghan civilians.
A US official has said Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, the soldier accused of a massacre on Afghan civilians, will be charged with 17 counts of murder. He will also face six counts of attempted murder and six counts of aggravated assault and other violations of military law.