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Blackwater defendant seeks ruling on status

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawyers for one of five security contractors charged in a deadly shooting in Baghdad are asking a judge to rule soon on his status in the case.

A federal appeals court revived the case against the ex-Blackwater Worldwide guards without overturning the government’s earlier decision to dismiss charges against Nicholas Slatten, one of the defendants.

Lawyers for Slatten, a former U.S. Army sergeant from Sparta, Tenn., say the court’s ruling means he’s no longer a defendant. They filed court papers last week asking a judge to step in and resolve the dispute. Prosecutors, who say they believe Slatten is back in the case, say they’re prepared to defer to the judge.

The case stems from the September 2007 shooting in a Baghdad public square that killed 17 Iraqi citizens.

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