The attorney of Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, the only suspect so far in the killing of 16 Afghan civilians, including nine women and three children, earlier this month, has questioned the case against Bales saying there was “no forensic evidence” of his client's actions.
Bales, who was hastily pulled out of Afghanistan and whisked back home to a prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, has been held in an isolated cell. He was said to have met his attorney, John Henry Browne, for over 11 hours over two days. While the killings led to angry protests in several parts of Afghanistan, the Obama administration indicated that it would not set back U.S. plans to draw down troops by 2014. Yet combined with the Koran-burning incident last month there is a growing perception that U.S.-Afghan relations are in a tail-spin.
Mr. Browne told media, “I don't know about the evidence in this case. I don't know that the government is going to prove much. There's no forensic evidence. There's no confessions.” He added that he was not saying that “we're not taking responsibility for this in the right way, at the right time. But for now, I'm interested in what the evidence is.”
Mr. Browne is renowned for defending, and some argue humanising, those who have been described as notorious criminals, including serial killer Ted Bundy and the teenage thief known as the Barefoot Bandit.
The attorney also alluded to broader legal, social and political issues associated with the case and its prosecution. He said, “I'm not putting the war on trial, but the war is on trial.”
Bales is expecting to be charged in the case this week, according to reports.