A federal judge dismissed manslaughter and weapons charges against former Blackwater guards but hinted prosecutors could still bring alternative charges in the pursuit of justice.
The charges stemmed from an incident in 2007 when the guards opened fire and killed 17 Iraqi citizens who were not armed. The guards maintained they thought they were under attack and were acting in self-defense.
The judge ruled prosecutors improperly used statements that violated the guards right against self-incrimination; the statements were made under threat of losing their jobs. But the opinion implies prosecutors could still bring charges for providing false information, if the prosecutors can establish the guards did not actually believe they were under attack when they began shooting.