June 7, 2017 / 2:10 PM / a month ago

Jordan begins trial of soldier accused of killing three U.S. trainers

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AMMAN (Reuters) - A Jordanian military court on Wednesday opened the trial of a soldier accused of killing three U.S. soldiers at the gate of a major air base in the south of the country, the official state agency said.

The soldier was charged with premeditated murder and the military judge decided to postpone to Sunday the next court session to allow the defendant to appoint a lawyer.

Jordan had said at the time the three U.S. military trainers were shot dead by a soldier when their car failed to stop at the gate of the base. Washington refuted the official account and said it did not rule out political motives

The staunch U.S. ally hosts several hundred U.S. contractors in a military cooperation programme which includes the stationing of U.S. F-16 fighter jets that use Jordanian airfields to hit Islamic State positions in neighbouring Syria and to protect it's borders.

Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi Editing by Jeremy Gaunt.

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