By ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN
May 16, 2018
In July 2013, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) even revised its warning label for the drug, saying rare but sometimes permanent side effects include "dizziness, loss of balance, and ringing in the ears," as well as "feeling anxious, mistrustful, depressed, or having hallucinations."
Lawyers for former Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales are asking the U.S. Supreme Court to consider that the malaria drug mefloquine may have played a role in Bales' murder of 16 Afghan civilians during his deployment.
On March 11, 2012, Bales was on his fourth combat tour stationed in Panjwai District of Kandahar Provence, Afghanistan when he left his post and killed 16 Afghans, including women and children, in two nearby villages.
In August, 2013, Bales was sentenced to life without parole by a military jury.
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan at the time, suggested the U.S. should try and hang Bales.
At the time, the soldier was taking medication to prevent malaria called mefloquine, which his lawyers argue contributed to his behavior that night. They are now petitioning the Supreme Court to review the case, saying government prosecutors did not disclose that Bales was ordered to take the drug before and during his deployment.
Court records show that after Bales' first deployment to Iraq in 2004 he complained of memory impairment and depression. And after later deployments, he complained about insomnia, irritability, anger, decreased ability to concentrate, and memory impairment.
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