- Title: IRAQ: IRAQIS GATHER FOR U.S. COURT-MARTIAL HEARINGS AT ABU GHRAIB PRISON, LATEST.
- Date: 21st June 2004
- Summary: (U2) ABU GHRAIB, BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JUNE 21, 2004) (REUTERS) (AS 9001/04) 1. EXTERIOR OF ABU GHRAIB PRISON 2. VARIOUS OF PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE PRISON 3. U.S. WATCH TOWER 4. WIDE OF EXTERIOR OF PRISONER/ WATCH TOWER IN BACKGROUND AND BARBED WIRE 5. CLOSE OF SOLDIER SITTING IN WATCH TOWER 6. PEOPLE GATHERED OUTSIDE PRISON 7. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ALI SALEH, FATHER OF PRISONER BEING HELD IN ABU GHRAIB, SAYING: "This court hearing is unfair. They are the judge and they are the defendants. So who is going to rule?" 8. WIDE OF PEOPLE OUTSIDE PRISON 9. MORE OF PEOPLE STANDING OUTSIDE ORISON 10. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) ALI JASEM, FATHER OF PRISONER, SAYING: "This court is not right because the soldiers are being tried by Americans. We want the court to be held by the United Nations, with interference of neutral countries." 11. WOMEN STANDING NEXT TO BARBED WIRE 12. MAN SITTING ON GROUND 13. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) NAHIDA MOAMMED, MOTHER OF DETAINEE, SAYING: "I want then to receive the death penalty because of our sons who are here. My son is a language student. He told me 'they tortured me in Basra." 14. VARIOUS OF FAMILIES OUTSIDE PRISON 15. VARIOUS OF SKETCHES OF SERGEANT JAVAL DAVIS (W3) BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JUNE 21, 2004) (REUTERS) (AS 9001/04) 16. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVIS' LAWYER, CIVILIAN DEFENCE COUNSEL PAUL BERGRIN BERGRIN, SAYING: "My client Javal Davis - everything that Javal Davis did was legal, standard operative procedure and he was told to do that by military intelligence as well as by other intelligence agents." 17. CAMERAMEN 18. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BERGRIN, SAYING: "Javal Davis's actions in this particular case were accurate, legal, correct." 19. PRESS AT CONVENTION CENTRE 3.14 (W4) BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JUNE 21, 2004) (REUTERS) 20. GV/CU: VARIOUS SKETCHES OF SPECIALIST CHARLES GRANER (4 SHOTS) 3.35 21. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DAVIS'S LAWYER, CIVILIAN DEFENCE COUNSEL PAUL BERGRIN, SAYING: "We also requested that Abu Ghriab prison, not be torn down , because essentially, at least talking to the government, it is a crime scene. It has forensic value as demonstrated by the evidence in this case. And as you could remember the President of the United States George Bush went on national television and he said ' I am telling the American people and the Arab community in the world that we are going to tear down the Abu Ghraib prison, destroy it and level it. Well this judge ordered him today not to lay a gloved hand or touch the Abu Ghraib prison." 4.11 22. GV: PHOTOGRAPHERS FILMING SKETCH OF GRANER 4.17 (W3) ABU GHRAIB PRISON, BAGHDAD, IRAQ (JUNE 21, 2004) (REUTERS) (AS 9001/04) 23. EXTERIOR OF ABU GHRAIB PRISON 24. RELATIVES LINED UP OUTSIDE PRISON Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 6th July 2004 13:00
- Location: ABU GHRAIB, BAGHDAD, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Reuters ID: LVAAMHZTAW5GH4ILPA63YWOGRGK
- Story Text: Families gather at notorious Abu Ghraib prison near
Baghdad for court martial of soldiers accused of abusing
Three U.S. soldiers charged with abusing prisoners
at Abu Ghraib jail face initial hearings in Baghdad on
Monday (June 21), reviving notorious images of sexual and
physical humiliation that sparked worldwide outrage.
The photographs of smirking American soldiers
tormenting naked detainees rocked the U.S. military when
they emerged in April, prompting claims that policies
adopted by Washington's "war on terror" had encouraged the
The U.S. army, keen to demonstrate it is weeding out
the culprits, has launched investigations into seven
low-ranking suspects in relation to abuse at Abu Ghraib,
which U.S. officials have blamed on a few wayward
Two of the three suspects to appear on Monday face
charges in relation to abuses depicted in some of the most
widely circulated images - including a human pyramid of
naked detainees, a woman soldier holding a detainee on a
leash and a hooded man standing on a box trailing wires
from his wrists.
The hearing on Monday, at a convention centre built by
former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, aims to resolve any
outstanding legal issues ahead of the start of the court
martial of the trio - Specialist Charles Graner, Staff
Sergeant Ivan Frederick and Sergeant Javal Davis.
The start date for their court martial has not been
set, but may be announced by the judge, Colonel James Pohl,
after the hearing. All three suspects have yet to plead.
The hearing in the U.S.-led administration's Green Zone
headquarters may deal with little more than routine
procedural matters, but might confront more significant
issues such as any possible disputes over evidence, a U.S.
army officer said.
But families of the detainees say that the hearings are
unjust because they are being carried out by the United
"This court hearing is unfair. They are the judge and
they are the defendants. So who is going to rule?" said one
Iraqi prisoner's father.
The father of another detainee said: "This court is not
right because the soldiers are being tried by Americans. We
want the court to be held by the United Nations, with
interference of neutral countries."
The U.S. military has conducted at least 80 courts
martial in Iraq since last year's invasion, on charges
ranging from theft or assault to involuntary manslaughter,
the officer said.
Graner, who faces the most serious accusations, could
be sentenced to up to 24 years and six months in jail if
convicted of various charges.
He is accused of photographing a detainee being dragged
by Private First Class Lynndie England on a leash, and
posing for a picture by a pile of naked detainees in
November, the date when most of the alleged abuses took
Graner is also charged with forcing prisoners to strip
naked and masturbate in front of each other, and forcing
one detainee to simulate oral sex on another, before taking
Frederick faces charges including participating in an
incident where a prisoner was hooded and made to stand on a
box with wires attached to him, and told he would be
electrocuted if he fell off -- an image splashed on front
Davis faces charges including jumping on a pile of
detainees and stamping on prisoners' hands.
A lawyer defending Davis said his client's actions were
'standard operative procedure' and that everything he did
"Everything that Javal Davis did was legal, standard
operative procedure and he was told to do that by military
intelligence as well as by other intelligence agents,"
civilian defense counsel Paul Bergrin told reporters in
Baghdad after an initial hearing for his client who is
accused of abuses at Abu Ghraib including jumping on a pile
of prisoners and stamping on their hands.
"Javal Davis's actions in this particular case were
accurate, legal, correct," he added.
Bergin also said that he would seek to put U.S.
President George W. Bush and Secretary of Defense Donald
Rumsfeld on the witness stand, accusing them of
side-stepping the Geneva Convention in their "war on
terror" and said his client was instructed on a daily basis
to soften up Iraqi prisoners to obtain intelligence.
During the hearing, the U.S. military judge handling the
case agreed to Bergrin's request to question top American
generals in relation to the case.
Judge Pohl agreed generals including Central Command
chief General John Abizaid and top Iraq commander
Lieutenant General Ricardo Sanchez could be interviewed.
"We also requested that Abu Ghriab prison, not be torn
down , because essentially, at least talking to the
government, it is a crime scene. It has forensic value as
demonstrated by the evidence in this case. And as you could
remember the President of the United States George Bush
went on national television and he said ' I am telling the
American people and the Arab community in the world that we
are going to tear down the Abu Ghraib prison, destroy it
and level it.' Well this judge ordered him today not to lay
a gloved hand or touch the Abu Ghraib prison," Bergrin said.
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