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Jun 28, 2002

Gurkhas charged with murder in death of student

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Today, Belizean authorities have confirmed that the six soldiers arrested in the death of fourteen-year-old David Zabaneh Jr. will answer to the charge of murder. The men were part of the British Army’s Gurkha regiment training in Belize in May 2001 when as many as twenty-five of the highly trained soldiers got into a fight with four underage S.J.C. students at a local bar and brothel. When the dust cleared, Zabaneh, one of the students, had suffered serious injuries and within hours would lapse into a coma. Despite being flown out of the country for treatment, he later died. While it is not clear what evidence eventually linked these specific soldiers to the killing, witnesses from Belize were flown to England to give statements and identify suspects. Police sources have also indicated to News 5 that DNA tests done on the clothing worn by the soldiers that night matched Zabaneh’s blood. If convicted of murder, the six soldiers can be sentenced to life behind bars. The trial will take place in the United Kingdom.

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