Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Canadian court martial begins for second time

A Canadian court martial began for the second time in the killing of a tentmate in Kandahar, Afghanistan.  The Canadian Press reports that a new court martial for a former soldier charged in the fatal shooting of a fellow reservist in Afghanistan began today.  Matthew Wilcox was found guilty in July 2009 of criminal negligence and negligent performance of duty in the death of Cpl. Kevin Megeney.  However, the Court Martial Appeal Court of Canada set aside the guilty verdict last year after Wilcox's lawyers argued the makeup of the military jury was unfair.  Wilcox's legal team argued the military panel hearing the case should have consisted of five members, instead of only four. One member on the panel was excused due to a conflict with a work commitment but he wasn't replaced with an alternate.  During the first trial, the prosecution put forward the theory that Wilcox and Megeney were playing a game of "quick draw'' in their tent at the Kandahar Airfield base when Wilcox's loaded pistol accidentally fired, hitting Megeney in the chest.