New trial ordered in post-Katrina killings

2013-09-17 19:45


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New Orleans - A US judge has ordered a new trial for five former New Orleans police officers convicted of civil rights violations related to deadly shootings on a bridge after Hurricane Katrina.

The US District judge ruled on Tuesday that prosecutors' "highly unusual, extensive and truly bizarre actions" warrant throwing out the convictions.

Attorneys for the former officers convicted in 2011 say a series of leaks to news organizations were part of a "secret public relations campaign" that deprived their clients of a fair trial.

Police shot and killed two unarmed people and wounded four others on 4 September 2005 at the Danziger Bridge.

Five former officers cooperated with a Justice Department investigation and pleaded guilty to engaging in a cover-up designed to make the shootings appear justified.

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