LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A federal judge on Thursday granted a three-month delay in the arraignment of a former soldier, who is charged with raping an Iraqi girl and killing her and three family members.
U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell granted the motion after prosecutors cited logistical concerns. The prosecution's motion, filed Wednesday, said that an indictment in Steven Green's case was not likely until October, and that Green's lawyers did not oppose delaying his arraignment until November.
"It is unreasonable to expect that witnesses and evidence from Iraq will be available almost simultaneously to military prosecutors in Iraq and Department of Justice prosecutors in the Western District of Kentucky," the motion says.
The prosecution involves coordinated efforts of military prosecutors in Iraq, federal prosecutors in the U.S. and FBI and Army investigators.
In addition to the charges against Green, who is no longer in the military, five soldiers in Iraq face military charges in the case. All are members of the 101st Airborne Division, based at Fort Campbell, Ky.
All but one of the defendants are accused of raping and killing Abeer al-Janabi and killing her parents and young sister at their home near the town of Mahmoudiya on March 12. One soldier is accused of failing to report the crime.
Green, 21, was arrested June 30 in North Carolina and brought to Louisville for an initial court appearance, where he pleaded not guilty.
Green is being prosecuted in federal court rather than military court because he was discharged from the Army in May for what military officials called "anti-social personality disorder." Military officials have said Green was discharged before they became aware of the rape allegations.