Nicholas Slatten is asking for a new trial because of what he says is newly discovered evidence. His lawyers received a state department report two days before sentencing.
The document concerns a rescue mission of a downed aircraft that took place one week before the shooting in the case. Prosecutors invoked the earlier episode at Slatten’s trial, saying “this man either takes unprovoked shots where no threat is present, or he urges other people to do that.” Slatten’s lawyers believe this document casts doubt on prosecutors’ argument that Slatten is prone to unprovoked violence.
“It forcefully rebuts the government’s false narrative that Mr. Slatten shot his weapon at a building when no threats were present and provoked his teammates and the Army to do the same,” Slatten’s lawyers wrote in arguing for a new trial. “The government’s failure to disclose the document and any other similar information, and its presentation of a misleading narrative at trial, require a new trial.”
Slatten has said he was a victim of an “unjust prosecution” and that government lawyers cared more about producing a conviction than uncovering the truth of what happened in Baghdad 12 years ago. At his sentencing hearing, he called the proceedings a “miscarriage of justice” that “will not stand.”
Three other Blackwater contractors — Paul Alvin Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard — were found guilty at trial of charges including voluntary manslaughter and attempted manslaughter.