Ringleader of Abu Ghraib jail abuse is given early release

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The convicted ringleader of American troops who abused detainees at Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq has been freed from a US military prison.

Charles Graner was released from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on Saturday after serving six years and six months of a 10-year sentence. He will remain on probation until 25 December, 2014. The US army would not release information about Graner's whereabouts or his destination after he was released.

Graner, 42, was a US Army reserve corporal when he and six other members of the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company were convicted in 2004 of abusing those held in the military prison near Baghdad. The strongest evidence was photographs of grinning US soldiers posing beside naked detainees stacked in a pyramid, or others held on dog leads.

Graner was convicted of offences including stacking prisoners into a pyramid, knocking one out with a head punch and ordering inmates to masturbate while soldiers took pictures.