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New Release Of Prisoners From Abu Ghurayb

21 May 2004 -- Six buses loaded with Iraqis drove away from the gates of Abu Ghurayb prison early today carrying the first of 472 prisoners that the U.S.-led coalition has announced are to be released.

Last week, coalition authorities freed 293 prisoners from the jail.

Abu Ghurayb is at the centre of the scandal over the abuse of prisoners by U.S. troops in Iraq. So far, seven U.S. soldiers face charges of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghurayb.

A court martial on 19 May sentenced one of the accused U.S. soldiers, Specialist Jeremy Sivits, to a year in prison.

In Washington, U.S. officials say that the Justice Department is investigating the death of an Iraqi detainee whose corpse is seen in newly emerged photographs of American troops abusing prisoners at Abu Ghurayb. U.S. authorities are investigating the deaths of at least four other prisoners in U.S. custody in Iraq.