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The Warsaw Voice » Politics » January 7, 2009
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Nangar Khel Trial in February?
January 7, 2009   
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The much-awaited trial of Polish soldiers charged with killing civilians in the Afghan village of Nangar Khel in August 2007, may start as early as February after the Supreme Court Dec. 3 overruled an October decision by the District Military Court in Warsaw to return the case to the prosecutors for further investigation. The Supreme Court thus upheld an appeal from the Supreme Military Prosecutors' Office.

This will be the first trial after World War II in which Polish soldiers are charged with violating the Hague Convention and killing civilians not involved in military operations. As the defendants are facing life sentences, the case will be tried by a panel of two professional judges and three jurors.

Six people, including three children, died in Nangar Khel in August 2007 after Polish soldiers opened fire on the village. Another two people died in hospital. The military prosecutors accused six soldiers of killing civilians and one soldier of opening fire at an undefended facility. That last soldier is facing a prison term of between five to 15 years.

Prosecutors said after their investigation that the soldiers, all of them members of an assault platoon, put the village under heavy machine gun and mortar fire despite the fact that the local residents posed no threat to them.

The defendants say they are not guilty. According to their defense lawyers, defective weapons and bullets were among the reasons behind the tragedy.
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