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Lawyers Want Rumsfeld To Testify In Abu Ghurayb Case

24 August 2004 -- A lawyer for a U.S. soldier accused of abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghurayb prison says his team wants U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to testify at their client's military trial.

Sergeant Javal Davis is charged with assault, cruelty, and maltreatment of prisoners. He is among four soldiers facing pretrial hearings in the prisoners' abuse case at a U.S. base in Mannheim, Germany.

Speaking before today's hearing, Paul Bergrin, Davis's lawyer, said he has evidence that Rumsfeld was aware of what was happening at Abu Ghurayb.

"We have established firm evidence which I believe conclusively establishes that Rumsfeld knew exactly what was going on at Abu Ghurayb, that he approved very aggressive interview and interrogation techniques at Guantanamo Bay, that these techniques funnelled down to Abu Ghurayb," Davis said.

Earlier, another of the accused, Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, said he will plead guilty to some of the charges against him.

Seven U.S. troops have been charged in connection with abuses at Abu Ghurayb. Photos of U.S. troops abusing Iraqis at the jail surfaced in April, sparking global condemnation.


For the latest news on Iraq, see RFE/RL's webpage on "The New Iraq".