Military Prosecutors Stumble With Testimony in Iraq Rape-Slaying

FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. (AP) - A soldier in prison for conspiring to
rape an Iraqi girl and kill her and her family left military
prosecutors struggling to recover after he admitted in testimony
Wednesday to previously making false statements implicating a
comrade.
Spc. James Barker testified he deliberately misled prosecutors
depending on how they posed their questions, and had allowed
investigators to draft sworn statements for him that implicated
Pfc. Jesse Spielman in the crime.
As part of his plea deal last year, Barker signed a document
saying, among other things, that Spielman was part of the
conspiracy to attack the family and that he knew of plans to rape
the 14-year-old girl last March.
Barker also testified when asked by defense attorney Craig
Carlson that he sometimes answers the same question differently.
"Not all the time, unless you guys play with the words," he
said.
Barker's testimony on the third day of Spielman's court-martial
came as a blow to prosecutors who have little evidence from the
assault beyond soldiers' statements and crime scene photographs.


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