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Ex-Blackwater guard indicted on murder charge

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Nicholas SlattenA former Blackwater Worldwide security guard accused of taking part in a 2007 shooting of Iraqi civilians at a Baghdad traffic circle has been indicted on a new first-degree murder charge as the case moves closer toward trial, prosecutors said Friday.

The federal grand jury indictment of Nicholas Slatten came just weeks after a judge dismissed all charges against him because of statute-of-limitation concerns.

Also Friday, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C., asked that Slatten go on trial with the other three defendants in the shootings, a move the defense may seek to avoid. A joint trial is often viewed as an advantage for prosecutors.

In court papers, the prosecution said a joint trial is especially appropriate because the criminal conduct charged in the indictments was part of a single event. In addition, says the court filing, it would be grossly inefficient to try the case twice, inasmuch as the trial will involve 70 to 80 witnesses, many of whom live overseas.


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