Baghdad: A US military jury has cleared a Navy SEAL in an abuse case involving an Iraqi prisoner accused of masterminding an attack that left four Blackwater security contractors dead.
1st Petty Officer Julio Huertas, 28, was the first of three Navy SEALs to go on trial for the alleged assault. He was not accused of abusing the prisoner but of failing to safeguard him and attempting to influence the testimony of another service member.
The six-member Navy panel cleared Huertas of both charges on Thursday.
The Iraqi prisoner was accused of planning the 2004 killings in which the guards' charred bodies were dragged through the streets. Two were then hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.
First Published: Thursday, April 22, 2010, 15:04