The Justice Department’s decision to appeal the dismissal of charges in the Blackwater manslaughter case is drawing rebuke from the criminal defense lawyers who represent the accused guards.

In December, Judge Ricardo Urbina of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia lashed the department for its mishandling of the prosecution of the guards, who were charged in the shooting deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in a gunfight in Nisour Square in Baghdad in September 2007. The judge found, among other things, that prosecutors misused immunized statements against the guards and failed to present exculpatory evidence to the grand jury that indicted the guards.

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