U.S. soldier suspected of murder in
Panama likely to face military justice
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[June 30, 2014]
PANAMA CITY (Reuters) - A U.S.
soldier suspected of murdering a Panamanian woman will "most likely"
face charges in a military court in the United States, a U.S. military
spokesman said on Sunday.
Master Sergeant Omar Velez is being held in pretrial confinement
at the U.S. Army's Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but formal charges
have not been filed against him, said Colonel William Bigelow, a
spokesman for U.S. Southern Command.
Velez was conducting trainings in Panama as part of the U.S. Army
Security Assistance Training Management Organization, a unit
generally associated with foreign sales of military equipment,
Bigelow said by telephone.
He said Velez will probably face charges in U.S. military courts. He
emphasized that a final decision has not been made.
Panama's attorney general's office has not commented on the case.
Panamanian daily newspaper Critica has reported that Velez was
apprehended as he was attempting to bury the body of the 26-year-old
victim, with whom he was believed to have a romantic relationship.
The U.S. Southern Command cannot confirm those details, spokeswoman
Kimberly Hanson said.
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The U.S. Army "will fully investigate this tragedy and take any and
all appropriate action," according to a statement issued late last
(Reporting by Elida Moreno in Panama City and David Alire Garcia in
Mexico City; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
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