Accused Soldier Flown Out of Afghanistan

Massacre suspect moved to 'appropriate detention facilities' in Kuwait
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2012 11:25 PM CDT
Updated Mar 15, 2012 3:06 AM CDT
An Afghan soldier speaks to civilians gathered outside a military base in Panjwai, Kandahar province, after the shootings.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

(Newser) – The American soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians in a pre-dawn shooting spree has been flown to Kuwait, angering Afghans who want him to stand trial in their country. He was whisked out of Afghanistan because of "our own policies and regulations, and for his own safety and security, and to be appropriately available to investigators," said a Pentagon spokesman. "We had to move him to appropriate detention facilities." The 38-year-old soldier's identity is being withheld until charges are filed.

Moving the soldier out of Afghanistan may complicate the prosecution, but his "presence in the country would put him and other service members in jeopardy," a military defense lawyer tells AP. The soldier's surrender after the killings was captured on video, which was provided to Afghan officials who suspect more than one soldier was involved. Military officials say that despite the transfer, the soldier may still be tried in Afghanistan.

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