Ex-Blackwater Guard Evades Shooting Blame

For all the spilled ink and spent cyberspace that chronicled his adventures, former Blackwater guard Andrew Moonen remains a free man walking after he shot and killed an Iraqi vice presidential guard in Baghdad's Green Zone three years ago. A lawsuit by the victim's widow, filed in March, ran into a legal buzzsaw and Moonen was later dropped as a defendant. Last week, though a federal judge refused to dismiss a war crimes lawsuit against Blackwater - now called Xe (as in "zee") - Moonen is no longer a target of that or any other suit, his Seattle attorney said yesterday.

The Seattle soldier of fortune was fired by Blackwater and sent home without his Christmas bonus after killing Raheem Khalaf Sa'adoon, 32, father of two, on Christmas Eve, 2006. Some called it a drunken murder, Moonen said it was self defense. At last report, the former civilian contractor had found meaningful work as a state prison guard in Monroe.

His attorney, Stewart Riley, sounds confident that's the end of it. "Mr. Moonen," Riley says, "is not a defendant in any civil case at this time and I do not anticipate that he will become a defendant in any civil case in the future." As for those rumored criminal charges? (Riley in January said the Justice Department intended to indict Moonen). "I do not know the answer to that question," the attorney says now.

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