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Hypnosis ordered for US soldier charged with killing comrades

Published on Dec 12, 2012 7:12 AM

SEATTLE (REUTERS) - A United States (US) Army sergeant accused of killing five fellow servicemen at a military counseling center in Iraq in 2009 and deemed to have been psychotic at the time has been ordered to undergo forensic hypnosis in a bid to unlock buried memories.

An Army judge ordered the hypnosis for Sergeant John Russell, 48, in granting three defence motions seeking to learn more about Russell's mental state during a shooting frenzy the military has said might have been triggered by combat stress.

Russell, a member of the Army's 54th Engineer Battalion based in Bamberg, Germany, faces five charges of premeditated murder, one charge of aggravated assault and one charge of attempted murder in connection with the May 2009 shootings.

Two of the dead were medical staff officers at a combat stress counseling clinic called Camp Liberty, part of the US military's Victory Base Complex near the Baghdad airport. The other three were Army enlisted soldiers who happened to be at the center at the time.

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