Presidential pardon for US soldier who killed unarmed Iraqi prisoner
Donald Trump gave full clemency to Michael Behenna, who received a life sentence for murdering a suspected member of Al Qaeda
Former US soldier Michael Behenna has received a full pardon from president Donald Trump.
Behenna stripped Ali Mansur Mohamed naked and shot him twice in Iraq in 2008.
Mansur was captured by the then Lieutenant Colonel's soldiers and questioned over an IED which killed two of their platoon, 101st Airborne Division. Military intelligence released Mansur due to insufficient and Behenna was tasked with returning him home.
On the journey Behenna pulled over, stripped Mansur naked and questioned him at gunpoint. He shot Mansur twice and killed him, claiming self-defence and that the suspected enemy fighter lunged for his weapon.
The soldier was convicted of unpremeditated murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison. His sentence was reduced to fifteen years and then he was paroled in 2014, after five years served.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the case attracted support from the public and military and his behaviour in custody was exemplary, "entirely deserving" of the pardon.
The White House statement read: "Mr Behenna's case has attracted broad support from the military, Oklahoma elected officials, and the public.
"37 generals and admirals, along with a former Inspector General of the Department of Defense, signed a brief in support of Mr Behenna’s self-defense claim.
"Numerous members of the Oklahoma congressional delegation, Oklahoma's then-Governor Mary Fallin, and current Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter have also expressed support for him.
"Further, while serving his sentence, he was a model prisoner. In light of these facts, he is entirely deserving of this Grant of Executive Clemency."