Abu Ghraib pre-trial hearingrelocated to Germany

10th August 2004, Comments 0 comments

10 August 2004 , BAGHDAD - The United States military in Iraq has relocated the pre-trial hearing of US soldiers involved in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal to a US military base in Mannheim, Germany. Four of the seven soldiers accused of mistreatment, assault, coercion and conspiracy to mistreat prisoners would be questioned in Mannheim on 23 and 24 August, said US military spokeswoman Jill Morgenthaler Tuesday in Baghdad. However, the remaining proceedings in the case against Charles Graner, Megan

10 August 2004

BAGHDAD - The United States military in Iraq has relocated the pre-trial hearing of US soldiers involved in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal to a US military base in Mannheim, Germany.

Four of the seven soldiers accused of mistreatment, assault, coercion and conspiracy to mistreat prisoners would be questioned in Mannheim on 23 and 24 August, said US military spokeswoman Jill Morgenthaler Tuesday in Baghdad.

However, the remaining proceedings in the case against Charles Graner, Megan Ambuhl, Ivan Frederick and Javal Davis would remain in Baghdad, said Morgenthaler.

Military court judge Colonel James Pohl had ordered the transfer after a number of defence lawyers failed to attend earlier hearings because of security reasons and the high costs involved in travelling to strife-torn Iraq.

"As I understand it it is more convenient for the people involved," said the spokeswoman, adding: "Judge Pohl may have taken this into consideration."

Under US criminal law, the pre-trial hearing is due to establish whether the evidence in the case will be sufficient for a court martial. Prosecution and defence can also present motions to the court and question witnesses.

The case against the seven soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company, based in Cresaptown, Maryland, was launched after photo footage depicting them abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners had prompted worldwide outrage in April.

The pictures, which were televised around the world, showed Graner in triumphant position behind a pyramid of naked, hooded detainees.

On another photo, 21-year-old Private First Class Lynndie England is holding a dog leash tied around the neck of another naked Iraqi prisoner.

England was last week questioned in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, after being called back to the US as she is seven months pregnant with Graner's child. Graner also faces adultery charges in relation to his relationship with England.

In May, another of the accused, former Specialist Jeremy C. Sivits. was sentenced to one year in jail for his involvement in the abuse, after he pleaded guilty and cooperated with the prosecution.

The other accused say they had been encouraged to abuse the prisoners by their superiors and military intelligence officers.

On 21 June, Judge Pohl ruled in Baghdad that the defence could question General John Abizaid, who leads all US troops between Eastern Africa and Afghanistan as the head of US Central Command, and Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former commander of US ground forces in Iraq as witnesses in the trial.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

0 Comments To This Article