04 Nov '12, 3am

US soldier due in court over Afghan massacre

LOS ANGELES: A US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers is due in court on Monday for the first time since the March massacre, in a pre-trial hearing to decide if he should face a full court martial. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is expected to attend throughout the Nov 5-16 Article 32 hearing at Fort Lewis-McChord in the western state of Washington, base spokesman Gary Dangerfield told AFP. Relatives of the victims and witnesses could testify via videolink from a US air base in Kandahar, southern Afghanistan, according to media reports, although the spokesman could not confirm that. Bales, 39, is accused of leaving his base in the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province on the night of March 11 to commit the killings, which included nine children. He allegedly set several of their bodies on fire. The killings are thought to be the deadliest crime by a US soldier dur...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_world/view/123...

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