Evergreen soldier's case will go before a court martial

10:06 PM, Jan 12, 2010   |    comments
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His case will now go before a court martial by March 1.

The referred charges against Capt. Carl Bjork include one count of reckless endangerment and two counts of premeditated murder. The charges were initially "proffered" on Nov. 3, 2009.

Bjork's father, Peter Bjork, told 9NEWS the charges were referred on Monday.

"I see it as a slap in the face," Peter Bjork said. "Particularly when you consider not just what he's done for our country, but the fact that they've let this thing hang here for three years."

The alleged incident happened in December 2006. Bjork's attorney, Victor Kelly, told 9NEWS that in the 20 years he has served as a military lawyer, he has never seen a case drag out as long as Bjork's.

"I've never seen anything like this. It's highly unusual. But the military judge will be making the decision. And obviously he hasn't ruled yet," Kelly said.

According to Kelly, military leaders offered no comment when they referred the charges.

"I can tell you why it is...because they have a lousy case," Kelly said. "The only evidence they have against Capt. Bjork is the testimony of four people who are confined."

Kelly says the evidence against his client is limited. The only material the military has against Bjork are allegations from a few Iraqi insurgents who are being held prisoner.

Bjork has not been jailed. He's serving as an armed guard for USO entertainers.
For the time being, he is not allowed to participate in training and he is not allowed to be promoted, until the case is over.

"Getting ready to prosecute this case will be a very daunting task," Kelly said.

Kelly says the military wants to hold the first half of the trial in Iraq and the second half of the trial in the United States.

Bjork grew up in Evergreen but attended Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, Missouri. He also studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was awarded a Bronze Star for his service overseas.

A Facebook page with more than 6,700 followers has been set up by his supporters: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=193919133047&ref=mf.

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