British man accused of US soldier’s murder in Iraq, trial starts

Reuters / Atef Hassan
A British man accused of murdering a US soldier in Iraq in 2007 with a roadside bomb went on trial at Woolwich Crown Court on Tuesday.

Anis Abid Sardar, 38, was arrested in September after he was linked to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Iraq, but denies all charges relating to the death of Sergeant First Class Randy Johnson.

He is charged with one count of murder and a further count of conspiracy to cause an explosion likely to endanger life or cause serious injury to property.

Sergeant Johnson, 34, died from injuries sustained when the device exploded during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

He denied the charges in court on Monday, brought against him between January 1 and November 22, 2007, by Sajjad Nabil Salih and another person or persons unknown.

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The Telegraph reported that jurors were asked in questionnaires prior to the trial whether they had “any views about the Iraq War” that might harm their objectivity.

The defendant was arrested in September after a raid on his home in North West London, after a number of devices were recovered from the Al Anbar province of Iraq.

Al Anbar is a predominantly Sunni region of the country, which borders Syria, Jordan and Saudi Arabia and saw heavy fighting during the invasion.

Speaking after his arrest in September, Deputy Head of Counter Terrorism at the Crown Prosecution Service Deborah Walsh said: “Following an investigation by the Metropolitan Police Service, I have today authorized charges against Anis Abid Sardar in connection to a number of road side improvised explosive devices (IEDs) recovered from the Al Anbar province of Iraq in 2007.”

“It is alleged that Mr Sardar conspired to murder coalition forces operating in Iraq on or before 22 November 2007 by conspiring to cause the explosion of these IEDs.”