Skip to content

Judge closes hearings on Blackwater killings

Post categories

  1. Court Access
A federal judge in Washington, D.C., today refused The Washington Post’s request to open the pretrial proceedings in the manslaughter…

A federal judge in Washington, D.C., today refused The Washington Post’s request to open the pretrial proceedings in the manslaughter prosecution of five security guards who were charged in an attack that left more than a dozen civilians dead in Baghdad.

The security guards were working for Blackwater Worldwide, now known as Xe, in 2007 when they allegedly participated in the unprovoked attack that killed 14 civilians and wounded 20 more.

The Post reported that U.S. District Judge Ricardo M. Urbina said the guards’ fair-trial rights outweigh the public interest in the proceedings, and was concerned that press coverage might affect witnesses, even those as far away as Baghdad.

The newspaper said Urbina pledged to “work harder to ensure that future hearings were placed on the public docket.” Previous hearings have been omitted from the docket.