US sniper gets 5-month sentence in Iraq deaths

September 30, 2007 03:26

The military panel that cleared a US Army sniper of two counts of murder sentenced him to five months in prison, reduced his rank to private and ordered his pay withheld for planting evidence in the deaths of two Iraqi civilians. Sectarian violence, meanwhile, claimed at least 40 more lives Saturday across Iraq, with a flurry of attacks around the northern city of Mosul, where bombs, gunmen and mortar fire killed 14. Two US soldiers were killed by gunfire, one in Diyala province north of Baghdad and one in a southern district of the capital. Spc. Jorge G. Sandoval, 22, was acquitted Friday of murder charges in the April and May deaths of two unidentified men. The five-man, two-woman panel decided he was guilty of a lesser charges of placing detonation wire on one of the bodies to make it look as if the man was an insurgent.

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