Today the Raven 23 defense team filed a motion to delay the sentencing of four security contractors based on material discrepancies found in an Iraqi Police Officer's trial testimony and victim impact statement.
In the motion filed by defense lawyers today, Sarhan Dheyab Abdul Monem's victim statement "proves that Mr. Monem perjured himself at trial to support the government’s theory of the case." At trial Mr. Monem testified that he approached the first vehicle fired on by the Raven 23 security team and "tried to open the door so I can get [the victim's mother] to come out of the vehicle, but the door was locked." However, in his victim impact statement he said "I was afraid and stayed in my police booth, I was unable to move or think... I could not help them, because I was unable to move."
Monem also testified at trial that the driver of the vehicle was dead after the initial shots but later in his victim impact statement he wrote "I saw a mother crying for her son, who was a doctor and she had a feeling that he would be killed. She was unable to move, and her son was trying to get her out of that damned car . . . . "
Mr. Monem's trial testimony formed the basis of the government's case against Nick Slatten, Paul Slough, Evan Liberty and Dustin Heard - all of whom were former Army and Marine veterans employed by a State Department security contract firm in September 2007. If the court finds Mr. Monem's testimony was perjurious, it could result in a delayed sentencing and a new trial.
The men are scheduled to be sentenced on April 13, 2015 in Washington D.C.