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2 charges dropped against Abu Ghraib officer

  • Story Highlights
  • Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan is the only officer charged in the 2003 prison scandal
  • Charges tossed after it's learned Jordan not read his rights before an interview
  • The officer still faces four other charges
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From Paul Courson
CNN
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FORT MEADE, Maryland (CNN) -- Two charges were dropped Monday against Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, the only officer among the 12 defendants charged in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal.

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Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan arrives at military court Monday in Fort Meade, Maryland.

The judge in the case, Col. Stephen Henley, threw out charges dealing with whether Jordan lied to a superior officer. He still faces four other charges.

The prison scandal surfaced in 2003. Photos shot inside the Baghdad prison -- which were leaked to the news media -- showed cases of torture and sexual humiliation, and brought global condemnation.

The charges against Jordan were tossed when it was learned Jordan was not read his rights before an interview with Maj. Gen. George Fay, his superior officer.

According to the charging document, Jordan told Fay he "never saw any detainees being abused and never saw nude detainees, or words to that effect."

The document said that "statement was totally false and was then known by the said Lieutenant Colonel Steven L. Jordan to be so false."

The second count was a sworn statement that recounted the oral response to Fay.

There are four remaining counts or "specifications" in military terms against Jordan. They include willfully disobeying a superior commissioned officer, two accusations of failure to obey an order or regulation, and one count of cruelty and maltreatment.

Jordan, a reservist, was the commander of the Joint Interrogation Briefing Center at Abu Ghraib.

Maj. Gen. Guy Swan, the commanding general of the military district of Washington, referred the charges to court martial on January 22, the Army said.

While Jordan is the only officer criminally charged in the scandal, he is not the only officer punished. Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, the commander of the Abu Ghraib prison at the time, was demoted in rank to colonel because of the scandal.

Seven low-ranking guards and two military intelligence soldiers -- described by then-U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as "bad apples" -- were disciplined after the scandal surfaced. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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