- A federal judge dismissed all charges Thursday against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of killing unarmed Iraqi civilians in a crowded Baghdad intersection in 2007.
U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina said Justice Department prosecutors improperly built their case on sworn statements that had been given under a promise of immunity. Urbina said the government's explanations were "contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility."
The decision throws out a case steeped in international politics. The September 2007 shooting in busy Nisoor Square left 17 Iraqis dead and inflamed anti-American sentiment abroad. The Iraqi government wanted the guards to face trial in Iraq and officials there said they would closely watch how the U.S. judicial system handled the case.
Prosecutors can appeal the 90-page ruling.
Baghdad has expressed disappointment at a US judge's decision to dismiss murder charges against five members of the private security firm Blackwater.
A US court ruled on Thursday that prosecutors had improperly built their case against the men who were accused of killing 14 Iraqi civilians in 2007.
But Iraqi officials said they are determined to bring the gaurds to account, describing them as "murderers".
Al Jazeera's Nick Spicer reports.