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U.S. Soldier Wants Abuse Trial Moved from Baghdad
Reuters ^ | Aug 23, 7:19 PM (ET) | Philip Blenkinsop

Posted on 08/23/2004 5:33:10 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182

MANNHEIM, Germany (Reuters) - A U.S. soldier at the center of the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal wants his pending court martial to be moved from Baghdad as he believes he has no chance of a fair trial there, his lawyers said on Monday.

Specialist Charles Graner and three others are accused of sexually humiliating and, in some cases, beating detainees at Iraq's notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

Photos of them tormenting naked Iraqis aroused worldwide outrage when they emerged in April and sparked criticism that sweeping U.S. anti-terror policies had encouraged the abuses.

Graner, 35, who faces the most serious accusations and who featured prominently in the abuse photographs, was the first to appear at the pre-trial hearing at a U.S. army base in Germany.

His lawyers argued that publicity surrounding events at Abu Ghraib meant it would be impossible to find an unbiased jury among Graner's peers.

"While the prejudice would be worldwide, it is extremely acute in Baghdad as the feeling would be that he has hurt the mission," Captain Jay Heath, one of Graner's two lawyers, told the judge.

"There are some suggestions his actions have caused the death of some U.S. soldiers," Heath added.

However, Judge James Pohl said it was premature to rule on the matter.

Graner's second lawyer, Guy Womack, later told reporters it would be almost impossible to persuade civilian witnesses to travel to Iraq.

"While I enjoy traveling to Iraq, most civilians would not, and U.S. courts lack the authority to make them do so," he said.


Womack said he would press for the case to be moved from Baghdad at the next hearing, scheduled to take place in the Iraqi capital on October 21......"

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: graner; iraq; iraqipow; prisonabus; wot

1 posted on 08/23/2004 5:33:11 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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To: Anti-Bubba182

He's just lucky he doesn't have to stand trial in a local Iraqi court the way US soldiers on Okinawa were tried in local Japanese courts when they raped Japanese girls. He is missing an excellent opportuninty to just shut up.

2 posted on 08/23/2004 5:37:03 PM PDT by Paleo Conservative (Do not remove this tag under penalty of law.)
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To: Paleo Conservative

True. But if you see the trial as a war (which it is), the first rule is to pick the battleground, to avoid the fight at the place of your enemy's choosing.

3 posted on 08/23/2004 5:49:48 PM PDT by theDentist ("John Kerry changes positions more often than a Nevada prostitute.")
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