The mercenary firm formerly known as Blackwater has argued in court that the company’s private contractors who killed 17 Iraqis in Baghdad in 2007 should not be held accountable. Why? It’s Washington’s fault, they claim, as Blackwater fighters were acting as employees of the U.S. government at the time. –JCL

Al-Jazeera English:

The security company formerly known as Blackwater has told a US federal judge that the US government, and not the company itself, should be held accountable for a 2007 shooting by its contractors that killed 17 Iraqis in Nisour Square in Baghdad.

Lawyers for the company, now known as Xe Services, argued in court on Thursday that Blackwater contractors were essentially acting as employees of the US government because they were providing security to State Department personnel.

The North Carolina-based company and several of its contractors are seeking the dismissal of a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of three people killed in the shooting: Ali Kinani, Abrahem Abed Al Mafraje and Mahde Sahab Naser Shamake. The lawsuit accuses the parties of wrongful death and negligence, and seeks punitive damages.

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