The Justice Department is planning on bringing new indictments against four former Blackwater, now known as Academi, mercenaries for their roles in the killing of Iraqi citizens in Baghdad in 2007. According to witnesses, mercenaries in a Blackwater convoy suddenly and without provocation opened fire on unarmed Iraqi civilians. By the end of what became known as the Nisour Square Massacre, 17 civilians were dead and 20 more were wounded. While the Blackwater mercenaries claim they were shot at by insurgents, investigators with the FBI and the military determined they used deadly force without justification.
The four mercenaries lawyers have argued that statements taken from them after the incident were under threat of being fired, and were improperly used by the prosecution under the original indictments. The Washington Post reports that a “Justice Department attorney told Judge Royce Lamberth on Wednesday that a special team will ensure that prosecutors working on the new indictment don’t have access to ‘privileged statements.’ Prosecutors say they will seek a superseding indictment after gathering additional evidence.