By BRADLEY BROOKS – Feb 10, 2008
Vela's trial was the last of three snipers in the unit accused in a series of shooting deaths south of Baghdad that defense lawyers said happened under command pressure to increase kill counts and, perhaps, employ questionable tactics in doing so.
The snipers detained al-Janabi and the man's 17-year-old son Mustafa. They freed the boy, but minutes after he walked off, the commander ordered Vela to shoot the father. The soldiers said al-Janabi was making noise and they feared he was trying to attract the attention of a group of military-age males they thought they saw nearby.
After the verdict, Mustafa, who had testified at the court-martial, said he was impressed with the U.S. military court system. "I find the Americans have more fairness than the Arabs," he said. "Their system is so fair that even if the judge were (Vela's) family member, he would have been convicted." [Ten years for a cold-blooded murder? Yes, that's real justice...Heh...It's more like the art of covering up....Thanks to U.S. media for reporting this story prominently....or not.]