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CENTCOM NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

November 8, 2004
Release Number: 04-11-24


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


IRAQI WITNESSES TESTIFY IN MURDER HEARING

FORWARD OPERATING BASE IRONHORSE, Baghdad, Iraq - The last in a series of Article 32 hearings was held here Nov. 7 to determine if a U.S. Army Soldier accused of murder will be tried by military court-martial.

The Soldier, Staff Sgt. Cardenas Alban of Company C, 1st Battalion, 41st Infantry Regiment from Fort Riley, Kan., is charged with one count each of premeditated murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

The investigating officer heard the testimony of three Al-Thawra District residents, two of whom claim to have been at the scene of the Sadr City resident's death. The third witness, the victim's sister, said she saw the victim's body when Iraqi Police brought it to her home. The exact condition of the victim prior to his fatal shooting varied from witness to witness.

Soldiers testifying in previous hearings held at the Camp Liberty Court House, claiming to have seen the victim before his death, said that the victim had serious burns and that his intestines were visible from injuries sustained during the initial gunfire.

Iraqi witnesses to the incident claimed that he had only sustained burns, and that they had noticed no other injuries. The victim's sister, who saw the body after the fatal shooting, testified she noticed only burns to her brother's face. One witness, a 13-year-old boy who said he was present at the scene of the alleged crime, testified that he had seen a U.S. Soldier kill the victim, but could not verify that the Soldier was Alban.

Based on testimonies and evidence presented over the four sessions, the investigating officer will make recommendations to the convening authority whether or not Alban will be tried by military court-martial.

All of the alleged incidents are under investigation. The accused has yet to be tried in this matter. The charges are merely accusations. Alban is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


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