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Last Updated: Friday, 2 June 2006, 20:59 GMT 21:59 UK
Hard labour for Abu Ghraib abuser
Sgt Santos Cardona
Cardona had faced three-and-a-half years in jail
A US army dog handler convicted of using his dog to abuse an inmate at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison will not go to jail, a military court has decided.

Sgt Santos Cardona, 32, was instead sentenced to 90 days' hard labour by the panel. He will also be demoted and will have his pay docked.

He was found guilty on two out of nine charges of abuse and dereliction of duty at the prison near Baghdad.

He is the 11th US soldier convicted in connection with abuse at Abu Ghraib.

It wasn't an acquittal but it was pretty darn good
Harvey Volzer
Cardona's defence lawyer

The US military panel at Fort Meade military base outside Washington cleared Cardona of seven other charges of abuse, including a more serious charge of allowing his dog to bite another prisoner.

Cardona, who had faced up to three-and-a-half years behind bars, will also have $7,200 (3,800) docked from his wages over the next year.

May 04: Spc Jeremy Sivits - 1 year jail, bad conduct discharge
Sept 04: Spc Armin Cruz - 8 months jail, bad conduct discharge
Oct 04: Sgt Ivan Frederick - 8 years jail, dishonourable discharge
Oct 04: Spc Megan Ambuhl - fine, other than honourable discharge
Jan 05: Spc Charles Graner - 10 years jail, dishonourable discharge
Feb 05: Spc Roman Krol - 10 months jail, bad conduct discharge
Feb 05: Sgt Javal Davis - 6 months jail, bad conduct discharge
Sept 05: Pte Lynndie England - 3 years jail, dishonourable discharge
May 05: Spc Sabrina Harman - 180 days jail, bad conduct discharge
Mar 06: Sgt Michael Smith - 179 days jail, bad conduct discharge
Jun 06: Sgt Santos Cardona - 90 days labour, $7,200 fine

It was not immediately clear what sort of hard labour he will have to do.

Cardona's civilian lawyer, Harvey Volzer, was clearly pleased with the sentence.

"It wasn't an acquittal but it was pretty darn good," the Associated Press quoted him as saying.

The prosecution said Cardona had used his Belgian shepherd dog like "a weapon" and had tormented Iraqi prisoners for fun.

But the defence said he was only obeying orders from senior officers.

No senior officers have so far been convicted for the abuse at Abu Ghraib.

Abu Ghraib dog handler convicted
02 Jun 06 |  Americas


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