Sgt. Bales' lawyer: Afghan war "on trial"

(CBS News) The civilian attorney representing the U.S. soldier accused of killing 17 Afghan civilians tells "CBS This Morning" the government can't prove their case against his client and that the coming legal proceedings against him will put the entire Afghan war "on trial."

Attorney John Henry Browne says his client, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, could be "scapegoated" for the 17 counts of murder CBS News has confirmed he'll officially be charged with Friday. Browne spent 11 hours with Bales earlier this week at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

"I don't want to put the government on trial," says Browne. "I certainly don't want to put the military on trial, that I respect greatly, but I think the war is on trial, and I didn't do that. I think this incident has created a dialogue in the country and around the world about the war, and I think that's entirely appropriate. I'm not doing that. That's just happening."

Special Section: Afghanistan, Ten Years Later
Sgt. Bales to get formal murder charges
Afghan massacre toll raised to 17 amid tensions

Browne tells CBS News that Bales' "mental state" could be part of his defense strategy, but the attorney doubts the military even has the evidence to make its case in the first place.

"I don't mean this disrespectfully, but my first, my first reaction to all of this is, 'prove it,'" says Browne.

"This is going to be a very difficult case for the government to prove, in my opinion. There is no crime scene. There is no, you know, there's no 'CSI' stuff. There's no DNA. There's no fingerprints. It's just going to be interesting to see how the government's going to prove this."

To see the entire interview, click on the video in the player above.

Comments

Follow Us

The Newsroom