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US soldier jailed for role in Iraqi murders

world Updated: Sep 19, 2008 09:20 IST
DPA

A US Army court martial in Germany jailed a soldier for seven months on Thursday for conspiracy to murder in Iraq.

US soldiers allegedly killed four Iraqi prisoners in cold blood in March or April last year and dumped their bodies in a canal near Baghdad.

The prisoners, who were blindfolded and handcuffed, appeared to have ties to the Shia al-Mahdi Army, according to US news reports.

Thursday's sentence on specialist Belmor Ramos, 23, was reduced because he pleaded guilty and agreed to testify against six other accused at their later trial, the army said in Grafenwoehr, Germany.

Ramos will also be dishonourably discharged, judges ruled at the 45-minute trial at a barracks in Vilseck, southern Germany.

The army charged the three main accused with murder on Tuesday this week. The latest announcement said six personnel apart from Ramos faced criminal charges in connection with the killings.

It named the additional three as staff sergeant Jess Cunningham, 27, sergeant Charles Quigley, 28, and specialist Stephen Ribordy, 25.

The men were in Iraq with the 18th Infantry Regiment of the US Army.