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Last Updated: Monday, 30 August, 2004, 21:33 GMT 22:33 UK
England 'stomped' on Iraq inmates
Private Lynndie England (centre) arriving at court
If convicted, Lynndie England faces up to 38 years in jail
A woman soldier facing charges of abuse over the Abu Ghraib prison scandal was seen stomping on prisoners' fingers and toes, a colleague has testified.

Pte Lynndie England's face became notorious after she was pictured holding an Iraqi prisoner on a leash and pointing at inmates' genitals.

A military court heard from Pte Jeremy Sivits, who has been jailed for a year for his part in the abuse.

Pte England, 21, is facing 19 charges, which carry a maximum 38 years in jail.

As her military hearing resumed in North Carolina on Monday, Sivits said by phone that he had found Pte England and other soldiers with a group of detainees they said had tried to start a riot.

Ordered to strip

"They were stomping on the fingers and toes of the detainees," he said, referring to Pte England and Spc Charles Graner.

The detainees were then ordered to strip, he said.

"Once they were stripped down, that's when they put them in a pyramid and started taking pictures," Sivits said.

He said the Iraqis were then lined up naked against a wall.

"England began making comments about their penis, things of that nature," he told the hearing as Pte England sat in court, listening to his testimony.

THE ACCUSED
Jeremy Sivits: Sentenced to a year in jail
Charles Graner, Ivan Frederick, Javal Davis, Megan Ambuhl: Pre-trial hearings in Germany
Also accused: Lynndie England, Sabrina Harman

Sivits said he did not try to stop the abuse at the prison in Baghdad, though he knew it was wrong.

He said he was later told by Spc Graner "that he didn't see" anything, and that he took that as an order.

The hearing is being held to determine whether Pte England should stand trial.

Her lawyers have argued she was following orders to soften prisoners up for interrogation.

Sivits admitted in May to sexually humiliating prisoners. He was jailed for 12 months, demoted to private, and discharged from the military, but agreed to testify against other soldiers implicated in the scandal.

He is one of seven soldiers at Abu Ghraib so far charged, though a US army report last week said 27 military intelligence personnel were involved in the abuse.


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