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Last Updated: Friday, 23 September 2005, 22:27 GMT 23:27 UK
Abu Ghraib guard was 'easily led'
Pte Lynndie England
Lynndie England's earlier trial collapsed at sentencing
The defence in the trial of a US army clerk over abuses at Abu Ghraib have argued that she was dominated by her boyfriend at the Iraqi prison.

Pte Lynndie England allowed Charles Graner to define right and wrong for her, the judge at the trial in Fort Hood, Texas, was told.

A psychologist testified that she had been "overly compliant" at school.

Pte England is being retried after a judge decided to review her original guilty plea in May.

She almost automatically, reflexively complies
Thomas Dene
psychologist

The decision was taken in light of evidence suggesting she had thought she was following orders and acting correctly.

Eight other soldiers charged over the abuse of Iraqi prisoners pleaded guilty and two, including Graner, were convicted.

Photographs of the abuses, in which naked Iraqi prisoners were humiliated, caused an international outcry when they were released by the US media.

Pte England appears in some of them, laughing and pointing at naked Iraqis or holding another naked prisoner by a leash around his neck.

'Authority-seeker'

"She had the ability to know right from wrong... [but] she did not believe it was wrong because of the trust she placed in Spc Graner," military defence attorney Jonathan Crisp told the judge outside of the presence of the jury.

Lynndie England pointing at the genitals of prisoners (AP Photo/Courtesy of  The New Yorker)
Pictures such as this one showing Pte England shocked the world (AP Photo/Courtesy of The New Yorker)

By arguing partial mental responsibility, her lawyers hope to have some of the seven counts of conspiracy and abuse against her dropped.

Thomas Dene, a school psychologist who knew Pte England from when she was four years old, testified on Friday that she had a "very complex language-processing dysfunction".

"She is overly compliant in social settings, especially in the presence of perceived authority," he said.

"She would seek some form of authority in order to follow. She almost automatically, reflexively complies."

Prosecutors maintain that Pte England was a willing participant in the abuse.




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