Vilseck, Germany – A US soldier was sentenced by a military court to life in prison Thursday for the murder of four blindfolded Iraqi men and dumping their bodies in a Baghdad canal.
A jury of eight found Master Sergeant John Hatley, 40, guilty on Wednesday.
Hatley, the highest-ranked of five accused, had been charged with premeditated murder by the military court in Vilseck, Germany, where their unit is based.
The soldiers had been under orders to release the captured Iraqis, but instead killed them in early 2007. In their defence, the soldiers testified that they believed the Iraqi captives were terrorists.
Four other soldiers have already been convicted. One of the accused, Sergeant First Class Joseph Mayo, received life imprisonment and another up to 35 years.
Two accused received sentences of seven and eight months after the court martial was told they knew that the Iraqis would be shot, but did not personally wield the guns.
Two other soldiers were also investigated for roles in the murder, but were not charged. (dpa)