3decisions, to formulate its theory of the case, to develop investigatory leads and, ultimately, toobtain the indictment in this case. The government’s key witnesses immersed themselves in thedefendants’ compelled statements, and the evidence adduced at the
hearing plainlydemonstrated that these compelled statements shaped portions of the witnesses’ testimony to theindicting grand jury.
The explanations offered by the prosecutors and investigators in anattempt to justify their actions and persuade the court that they did not use the defendants’compelled testimony were all too often contradictory, unbelievable and lacking in credibility.In short, the government has utterly failed to prove that it made no impermissible use of the defendants’ statements or that such use was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt.Accordingly, the court must dismiss the indictment against all of the defendants.
II. BACKGROUNDA. Factual Background1. The Nisur Square Incident
The defendants – Paul Slough, Evan Liberty, Dustin Heard, Donald Ball and NicholasSlatten – were security guards employed by Blackwater Worldwide (“Blackwater”), a privatecompany that provided security services to U.S. government employees operating in Iraq.Govt’s Pre-Hr’g Mem. at 2. On September 16, 2007, the defendants were part of a BlackwaterTactical Support Team answering to the call sign “Raven 23,” whose function was to provideback-up fire support for other Blackwater personal security details operating in Baghdad.
In fact, the government has conceded that key testimony used to indict defendant Nicholas Slattenresulted from the exposure of grand jury witnesses to his compelled statements, and has movedfor leave to dismiss the indictment against that defendant.
Govt’s Mot. for Leave toDismiss Indictment Without Prejudice Against Def. Slatten.
Case 1:08-cr-00360-RMU Document 217 Filed 12/31/09 Page 3 of 90