Thursday, November 04, 2004
Consumer news for Iraqis
A military hearing officer recommended that a Navy SEAL not be court-martialed for allegedly abusing prisoners in Iraq, including one at Abu Ghraib prison who died after a beating....
Problems with evidence presented at a pretrial hearing that concluded Monday led Lt. Cmdr. Andrew Henderson to recommend the unnamed sailor receive a lesser nonjudicial or administrative punishment, defense attorney John Tranberg said Wednesday.
Under military law, a hearing officer serves much the same function as a civilian grand jury, recommending whether there is enough evidence in a case to prosecute.
The SEAL was accused of kicking and punching Iraqi Manadel al-Jamadi, a suspect in the bombing of a Red Cross facility who died at Abu Ghraib prison in November 2003. A military pathologist said Al-Jamadi died after being beaten - a conclusion disputed by defense attorneys.
The SEAL also allegedly posed for a photo in which the prisoner allegedly was subjected to degrading treatment. The photo has not been released publicly.
A rear admiral in charge of the Navy's special warfare branch will make a final decision on whether charges should be filed....
The recommendation could signal problems in the Navy's efforts to prosecute seven members of a Sea, Air, Land unit known as Seal Team-7 accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners. Charges were dismissed last week against one SEAL. [emphasis added]
The Kansas City Star is running the story under "consumer news." I've decided to wait for next year's model.