Page last updated at 18:21 GMT, Sunday, 10 February 2008

US sniper jailed for Iraqi murder

A US Army sniper in Baghdad (21 April 2007)
The Iraqi man had stumbled across a group of hiding snipers

A US army sniper has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for murder without premeditation after he killed an Iraqi civilian and planted evidence on him.

In May 2007, Sgt Evan Vela shot Genei Nasir al-Janabi, after the man saw him and other US snipers hiding near the town of Iskandariya, south of Baghdad.

After the killing Vela planted an AK-47 on the Iraqi's body.

Vela had admitted to killing Mr Janabi, but tried to say it was an accident, blaming sleep deprivation.

His defence argued that Vela had shot the man because he was acutely sleep deprived, having slept for less than five hours in three days whilst out in hostile terrain.

And that he had lied about the incident afterwards partly because he had been suffering from post traumatic stress disorder.

Vela had been initially been charged with premeditated murder, but that was changed in the course of his court martial in Baghdad.

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