The murder trial of a Jordanian soldier accused of killing three U.S. soldiers has begun in a military court.

Judge Mohammed al-Afif said the case against 1st Sgt. Marik al-Tuwayha is criminal and not related to terrorism.


The judge read the indictment in court Wednesday. Al-Tuwayha, 39, was charged in the November killings of three U.S. military trainers whose convoy came under fire at the entrance to Jordanian air base.


The defense attorney didn’t show and the judge warned the defendant he would appoint a lawyer if his attorney didn’t attend the next hearing, set for Sunday.


The judge says the hearings will be public.


A Jordanian official had said the trial would be closed.


Jordan initially said the Americans triggered the shooting by ignoring orders from Jordanian soldiers.



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