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U.S. Soldier Convicted Over Role In Iraqi Prison Abuses


15 January 2005 -- U.S. Army soldier Charles Graner is facing a sentence of up to 15 years in prison following his conviction yesterday by a U.S. military jury of abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghurayb prison.

Graner, the accused ringleader of the Abu Ghurayb abuses that emerged when photographs were leaked in early 2004, was found guilty by a jury at Fort Hood, Texas, of conspiracy, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees, aggravated assault, and committing indecent acts.

Graner's parents pleaded for leniency for him as the sentencing hearing got under way after the verdict.

The sentencing hearing was due to continue today.

During the five-day trial, Graner's defense argued that the prison guard was following the orders of superior officers to "soften up" Abu Ghurayb detainees for interrogation.

The prosecution argued that Graner and others in his unit carried out the abuse, without orders, for their own depraved amusement.

(Reuters/AP/AFP/dpa)
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