Five security guards from Blackwater Security who were on trial for allegedly participating in a massacre in Baghdad in 2007 are free men today. The judge in the case, Ricardo Urbina, cited government missteps in building the case as he dismissed the charges. The government can still appeal the dismissal, and today’s ruling does not determine whether the shootings were proper under the law.
Statements made by the guards in the aftermath of the incident were made under the promise of immunity from prosecution and the government had to build its case without use of the admissions in those statements. This was crucial evidence because forensic experts were not able to determine independently who had fired shots.