Robert Bales' Lawyer: US Has No Proof

John Henry Browne says there's no 'forensic evidence, no confession'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 21, 2012 7:53 AM CDT
In this March 15, 2012 file photo, defense attorney John Henry Browne talks to reporters in Seattle about his client, Robert Bales, the US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
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(Newser) – The case of Robert Bales, the US soldier accused of massacring 16 Afghan civilians in the middle of the night, might seem like an open-and-shut case. Not so fast, says Bales' lawyer. Having huddled with Bales for a total of 11 hours in two meetings this week, John Henry Browne says he's skeptical that the US has what it needs to convict, he tells Reuters. "I don't know what the evidence is," Browne says. "We've all heard the allegations. I don't know that the government has proved much. There is no forensic evidence, there is no confession."

Still, Browne says that he expects Bales to be officially charged with "homicide and a bunch of other charges" tomorrow. But he paints his client as a "soldier's soldier" who's still "in shock." Meanwhile, the LA Times notes that Bales initially told comrades he had killed several Afghan men of military age, but that he never mentioned women or children. The US military could use that statement to prove Bales was aware of his actions. Browne has said he doesn't intend to mount an insanity defense but that Bales has limited memory of that evening's events and likely acted in a "diminished capacity." Click for more on the shootings.

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