A military court at Fort Hood in the American state of Texas yesterday (Saturday) acquitted Staff Sergeant david Mitchell, the first man to be charged over the alleged My Lai massacre more than two year ago.
MV Reporters out of courtroom
CU Michael Swan, army prosecutor, speaking to Press
SV Mitchell's mother, wife and Mitchell out of courtroom as guard stands by (2 shots)
CU Mitchell speaking (SOUND ON FILM)
CU Mitchell's wife speaks (SOUND ON FILM)
MV Zoom out to gv.. Mitchell's mother, Mitchell and his wife (left to right)
MV PAN..Mitchell being congratulated
TRANSCRIPT: SEQ. 4:
MITCHELL: "I found the Army in 1960. The army is a great occupation to be in. Now I know it's a great occupation."
REPORTER: "Do you plan to stay in?"
MITCHELL: "I do sir."
REPORTER: "You said yourself that you saw civilians dead in My Lai, what do you think happened?"
MITCHELL: "I still have not formed an opinion I can state as I said before that I saw no massacre. I can state again that I saw no massacre. I saw some bodies in a ditch. That is all that I can account for."
SEQ. 5: MRS MITCHELL: "I'm so happy. I don't which way... I'd just like to say I'm so happy that this is all over and I know my husband was innocent. I'm so happy because I know it now."
Initials RJ/DW/ES.14.04 RJ/DW/ES.14.19
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orig on 11246/70
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Background: A military court at Fort Hood in the American state of Texas yesterday (Saturday) acquitted Staff Sergeant david Mitchell, the first man to be charged over the alleged My Lai massacre more than two year ago.
A jury of seven officers took more than six hours to reach their decision. Mitchell had denied that he fired at a group of about 30 Vietnamese civilians with intent to murder them during a United states Army sweep in the hamlet of My Lai in South Vietnam on March 16, 1968. Up to 300 villagers were reporter killed in the attack.
Another 16 men have been charged in connection with the operation including Mitchell's platoon commander Lieutenant William Calley.
Mitchell spoke to newsmen after the decision was announced.