Nick Slatten's retrial started Monday, June 18, 2018, with the jury pool appearing and filling out questionnaires. Then, jury selection was abruptly postponed for litigation over two key, last-minute revelations by the government:
- Never-before revealed U.S. intelligence shows that the lead Iraqi investigator has suspected insurgency ties.
- The father of the driver of the white Kia courageously refused--in writing--to participate in the "play" that is Nick's retrial because the government, all along, has told him the truth about who killed his son--and it was NOT Nick.
The judge's ruling relating to the intelligence is now in, and it's not what we'd hoped for or what Nick's defense team believes the law requires. As it currently stands, Nick will only receive the terse intelligence summaries provided by the government. And the judge will not dismiss the charges against Nick because he has ruled that these summaries are legally sufficient to protect Nick's constitutional rights. But the fight is not over, as we expect additional litigation over this issue next week.
As of this update, we do not yet know whether the judge will allow the jury to hear that the government has admitted to the father of the Kia's driver that someone else besides Nick killed his son or that the father has refused to help with the government's efforts to convict Nick. We expect a flurry of filings over this and other issues in the coming days.
What we do know is that jury selection will resume Monday, June 25, 2018. It is expected to last most of next week, although there's a possibility that opening statements will be given next week as well. Sadly, we also learned this week that Nick will not be released into his counsel's custody as we'd hoped, but will instead remain in jail for the duration of the retrial. This will certainly make things more difficult on Nick, both personally and with respect to his ability to effectively assist in his own defense, but Nick is in good spirits, ready for trial, and thankful for this opportunity to clear his name.
As we move forward, we humbly ask for your continued thoughts and prayers for truth and justice to prevail. Nick is innocent; the government knows it; and the government's continued vindictive prosecution of Nick is a complete and total sham. Don't know the story and want the short version? Read it HERE.
It has been a long, hard road getting our fight for true justice into the news cycle, and we are THRILLED to see media coverage helping shed light on this important case. We are especially thankful to J.M. Phelps for helping get the truth out there for the world to see. This week alone, Mr. Phelps authored two articles exposing rights violations and government bad faith in the Raven 23 case, breaking those stories as they arose! You can find more of Mr. Phelps's articles on our Media page. Here are links to his articles from this week:
- Another major revelation in Blackwater case - might it secure Slatten's release?
- DOJ's integrity takes another massive hit in Blackwater case
An article about Nick's retrial also appeared in USA Today this week, and you can read it HERE.
Special thanks to the public figures and organizations who have helped spread the word about the government's unjust treatment of not just Nick but also of Paul, Dustin, and Evan this week. They are as follows:
- Ted Nugent
- Kathleen Saucier of American Patriots Against Double Standards
- Jason Johnson of Project K-9 Hero
- Covenant Spotlight
(If we've missed anyone, we apologize. Please let us know, and we will add you to next week's recap!)
To our individual supporters, you are the foundation and backbone of the movement to Free Raven 23, and your faithful support means more than we could ever say. Here are just a few of the amazing support pictures we've received this week alone! (Don't see yours? Please send it to us, and we'll add it to the Honor Roll page of our website and include it in a future weekly recap!)
Like the special edition shirt supporting Nick and his family? Want to buy a shirt/donate to help defray some of the costs for Nick's parents to live in the DC area for most of the summer during Nick's retrial? Due to high demand, we've made this Team Slatten shirt available again for a limited time. Get your order in by June 30th. Click HERE to order.
Although Nick's case is in the spotlight now, three other decorated veterans--Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, and Paul Slough--wrongly sit in federal prison. We are hoping that revelations during Nick's retrial--such as the wrongly withheld classified information showing suspected insurgency ties of the lead Iraqi investigator--will make a difference in their case. You can show your support for ALL four of our heroes by using our Fighting for Freedom - Free Raven 23 frame on your Facebook profile picture. Here's how:
Want to dig in deeper into the legal case? Here are links to several of this week's key filings:
- Motion to Compel Production of Revised Summaries of Classified Information or, in the Alternative, to Dismiss the Indictment & Order on the Motion
- Nick's Motion for Release
- Nick's Motion in Limine to Preclude Misleading Arguments in Government's Opening Statement
- Nick's Motion to Admit Statement of Kia Driver's Father & Statement
Thank you for your support in our fight to #FreeRaven23! #KeepTheFaith