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Abu Ghraib hearing ends with call for court-martial

From Ingrid Arnesen
CNN
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FORT MEADE, Maryland (CNN) -- A military hearing for Lt. Col. Steven Jordan, the highest-ranking officer to be charged in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, wrapped on Friday, with the prosecution calling for his court-martial.

It is not clear when Army Lt. Col. Daniel Cummings, the investigating officer, would make that decision.

At issue is Jordan's role at the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center for detainees at the prison.

The most serious of the 12 charges against Jordon allege cruelty and maltreatment for allowing detainees to be stripped nude, threatened with dogs and sexually humiliated.

He is also accused of having twice approved harsh interrogation techniques, including the use of dogs, without getting permission from then-commanding general in Iraq Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez. In addition, Jordan is accused of lying to the two generals investigating the scandal.

If convicted on all counts, he would face a maximum sentence of 42 years in prison.

During final arguments on Friday, Col. John P. Tracy, representing the prosecution, said Jordan had come to Abu Ghraib to be in charge of the center and train troops in contact with high-value detainees.

That Jordan failed, "resulted in criminality," Tracy said.

Maj. Kris Poppe, of the defense, said the chain of command at the interrogation site where high-value detainees were kept, did not include Jordan, and nothing could link him to detainee abuse.

Jordan had "arrived on the scene in what was a dangerous place and difficult place," said Poppe, adding, "the mission was soon overwhelmed by the explosion of detainees coming in every day."

On Thursday, a senior aide to Maj. Gen. Barbara Fast, the head of intelligence in the U.S. command in Iraq at the time, said Jordan had been designated as director of the Abu Ghraib interrogation center.

Col. Steven J. Boltz said that Jordan also served as liaison between intelligence and military police for Army Col. Thomas Pappas, who was commander of the 205th Military Intelligence brigade.

Because of severe prison conditions, lack of security and the poor quality of life for troops, Jordan saw his duties as more managerial than intelligence-related, Boltz said.


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