US guard pleads guilty to abuse | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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US guard pleads guilty to abuse

PTI | ByAFP, Baghdad
May 19, 2004 07:14 PM IST

US prison guard Jeremy Sivits pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges relating to the abuse and humiliation of inmates inside Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail at a court martial.

US prison guard Jeremy Sivits pleaded guilty Wednesday to charges relating to the abuse and humiliation of inmates inside Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail at a court martial in Baghdad.

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HT Image

Sivits, 24, admitted conspiracy to maltreat detainees, maltreatment of detainees and dereliction of duty around November 8 last year in the first trial over the scandal that has rocked the US-led coalition and President Geroge W. Bush's administration.

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Sivits, who holds the rank of specialist, admitted leading a detainee to a pile of inmates on the floor and then took a photograph of them while another guard, Specialist Charles Graner, kneeled on them.

Sivits admitted an amended charge, saying that he was involved in a conspiracy to pile inmates on top of each other in a pyramid but accepted only that someone had taken a photograph.

Sivits, sat next to his military lawyer during the hearing, speaking only to confirm that he understood details of the proceedings. He faces up to a year in jail.

Three other soldiers allegedly involved in the abuse appeared for pre-trial hearing Wednesday and will appear for another hearing on June 21.

Sergeant Javal Davis, Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick and Graner, face courts martial able to give tougher sentences than those available in the Sivits case.

In sworn statements to army investigators leaked to the US press, Sivits, from the 800th Military Police Brigade, had already indicated that he would admit to the charges.

The pictures of grinning US soldiers posing by a heap of naked Iraqi men revealed last month sparked worldwide outrage that has continued to dog the US administration.

Further, much worse, pictures have not been released and claims have continued that the abuse was not just the work of rogue operators within the prison and went much higher up the military and political chain of command.

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