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Ex US soldiers describe rape of Iraqi girl, killings

One of the five US soldiers who helped rape an Iraqi girl and kill her family told jurors that he regrets what happened that day in March 2006.

world Updated: May 02, 2009 17:26 IST

One of the five US soldiers who helped rape an Iraqi girl and kill her family told jurors that he regrets what happened that day in March 2006.

"I should have had more sense than that," James Barker testified on Friday, calling the crimes "barbaric" and saying his actions that day went against how he was raised.

Barker, now serving a 90-year-term in a military prison, was testifying at the civil trial of the atrocity's alleged ringleader.

Specialist Steven Dale Green is being tried in federal court in Kentucky because he was discharged from the army due to a "personality disorder" before his involvement in the crime came to light.

He could face the death penalty if convicted of raping 14-year-old Abeer al-Janabi and killing her father, mother and six year-old sister in Mahmudiyah, south of Baghdad.

Barker told jurors how being stationed in the so-called "triangle of death," working at an insufficiently fortified traffic checkpoint and having to make daily sweeps for bombs, caused him to develop a hatred of Iraqis.

"They talk to you, they pretend to be your friend, and then they try to kill you the next day," he said.

Killing an Iraqi family was Green's idea, Barker testified, but he said that he was the one who came up with the idea of raping the Iraqi teenager.