Abu Ghraib deputy faces charges

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The Independent US

The seven formal charges against Lieutenant-Colonel Steven Jordan, who was in charge of the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Centre at the prison near Baghdad during the second half of 2003, come two years after the scandal first became public. The 12 counts against him include cruelty, maltreatment of prisoners, dereliction of duty and three counts of lying to Major General Antonio Taguba, who conducted the first official probe into the events at the prison, and to a subsequent Pentagon investigation in 2004.

Lt-Col Jordan is accused of maltreating prisoners by subjecting them "to forced nudity and intimidation by military working dogs". He is said to have failed to train and make sure soldiers met military requirements on interrogation - a failure which led directly to the abuse of detainees.

He is accused of making "totally false" statements to Gen Taguba when he denied ever having seen naked detainees or knowing that dogs were used in their interrogations, or that he had ever witnessed these interrogations while they were taking place at the notorious "hard site" inside Abu Ghraib. A special hearing is scheduled to decide whether the case goes to court-martial.

Ten low-ranking soldiers have been convicted for their part in the abuse. Lt-Col Jordan's immediate superior, Colonel Thomas Pappas was merely fined and reprimanded. The latest developments are unlikely to quiet complaints that even more senior heads have not rolled over the greatest single disgrace to the US military in recent years.

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