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Army general: Massacre case will be ‘long process’

SEATTLE (AP) – An Army general says the case against a soldier accused of killing Afghan villagers is set to go through a “long process.”

Gen. Lloyd Austin would not discuss specifics of the situation during a visit to Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Friday. He said the charges filed Friday against Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales were a first step in what could be a lengthy case.

Bales is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Austin says he doesn’t have concerns about security needed to handle such a high-profile trial, adding that the Army will make sure the resources are in place to support it.

Officials say a preliminary hearing in the case may not take place for months and that a trial may not happen for a couple of years.

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