Accused soldier’s lawyer hits out

The lawyer for the soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians said yesterday the US government was “hiding evidence” from the defence team.

John Henry Browne said colleagues in Afghanistan were told they would have access to witnesses at a hospital, but they later discovered the people had been released. Mr Browne also said official files have not been handed over to the lawyers defending staff sergeant Robert Bales.

He said the prosecution was withholding information “while potential witnesses scatter”.

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“It’s outrageous,” he said. “The only reason to hide evidence is if you don’t have evidence.”