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Afghan killings suspect remembers little: Lawyer

Last Updated: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 12:57

Fort Leavenworth: The Army staff
sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime shooting rampage has a sketchy memory of the night of the massacre, his lawyer said yesterday after meeting his
client for the first time.

Lawyer John Henry Browne said Robert Bales remembers some
details from before and after the killings, but very little or
nothing of the time the military believes he went on a
shooting spree through two Afghan villages.

"He has some memory of some things that happened that
night. He has some memories of before the incident and he has
some memories of after the incident. In between, very little,"
Browne told The Associated Press by telephone from the maximum
security military prison at Fort Leavenworth, where Bales is
being held.

Pressed on whether Bales can remember anything about the
shooting, Browne said, "No," but added: "I haven`t gotten that
far with him yet."

In an earlier interview with CBS television, Browne said
unequivocally that Bales can`t remember the shootings.

Meanwhile, records show Bales owes USD 1.5 million from an
arbitration ruling nearly a decade ago that found him guilty
of securities fraud.

Bales, 38, has not been charged yet in the March 11
shootings, though charges could come this week.

The killings sparked protests in Afghanistan, endangered
US-Afghan relations and threatened to upend American policy
over the decade-old war.

Earlier yesterday, Browne met with his client behind bars
for the first time to begin building a defense and said the
soldier gave a powerfully moving account of what it is like to
be on the ground in Afghanistan.

Browne said he and Bales, who is being held in an isolated
cell at the military prison, met for more than three hours at
Fort Leavenworth.

"What`s going on on the ground in Afghanistan, you read
about it. I read about it. But it`s totally different when you
hear about it from somebody who`s been there," Browne told the
AP. "It`s just really emotional."

Browne, a Seattle attorney who defended serial killer Ted
Bundy and a thief known as the "Barefoot Bandit," has said he
has handled three or four military cases.

The defense team includes a military defense lawyer, Maj
Thomas Hurley. The lawyers have said they plan to meet with
Bales this week.

At their meeting, Browne said Bales clarified a story,
provided initially by the soldier`s family, about the timing
of a roadside bomb that blew off the leg of one of Bales`

It was two days before the shooting, not one, and Bales
didn`t see the explosion, just the aftermath, Browne said.

The details of the blast could not be immediately


First Published: Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 12:57

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