The Associated Press reports: The lawyer for the Army staff sergeant accused of slaughtering 16 Afghan civilians in a nighttime shooting rampage met his client for the first time Monday and said the solider has a sketchy memory of the massacre.
Lawyer John Henry Browne said Robert Bales remembers some details from before and after the killings, but very little during the time the military believes on a killing spree through two Afghan villages.
“He has some memory of some things that happened that night. He has some memories of before the incident and he has some memories of after the incident. In between, very little,” Browne told The Associated Press by telephone from Fort Leavenworth, where Bales is being held.
Pressed on whether Bales can remember anything at all about the shooting, Browne said, “I haven’t gotten that far with him yet.”
The Washington Post reports: The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, figure prominently in the still-evolving portrait of Robert Bales, the Army staff sergeant being held in a massacre of 16 villagers in southern Afghanistan. Like many others, Bales enlisted out of a sense of civic responsibility, his friends and attorney have said.
But Bales’s decision to join the Army also came at a pivotal point in his pre-military career — a career as a stock trader that appears to have ended months after he was accused of engaging in financial fraud while handling the retirement account of an elderly client in Ohio, according to financial records.
An arbitrator later ordered Bales and the owner of the firm that employed him to pay $1.4 million — about half for compensation and half in punitive damages — for taking part in “fraud” and “unauthorized trading,” according to a ruling from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the independent disciplinary board for brokers and brokerage houses.
A review of the investor’s account statements, obtained by The Washington Post, shows that valuable stocks were sold off in favor of penny stocks as part of what the arbitrator called “churning” by Bales to pump up commissions.
The client, Gary Liebschner, a 74-year-old retired engineer for AT&T, said Sunday that he “never got paid a penny” of the award.