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Last Updated: Friday, 22 October, 2004, 11:29 GMT 12:29 UK
US soldier jailed for prison abuse
Ivan Frederick and his wife
Frederick (right) said he accepted responsibility for his role
A US army reservist who pleaded guilty to five charges of abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib jail near Baghdad has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Sgt Ivan Frederick admitted conspiracy, dereliction of duty, maltreatment, assault and committing an indecent act.

The judge ordered a reduction in rank to private, a forfeiture of pay and a dishonourable discharge from the army.

Frederick's lawyer, Gary Myers, called the sentence "excessive" and said he intended to appeal.

"We will seek to try to achieve a sentence reduction," he was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying.

Judge Col James Pohl initially sentenced Frederick to 10 years imprisonment, but reduced it to eight years because of a plea bargain.

Frederick, 38, the highest-ranking soldier found guilty of abuse, admitted forcing detainees to masturbate.

How much training do you need to learn that it's wrong to force a man to masturbate?
Major Michael Holley

The prosecutor, Major Michael Holley, told the court it had been a simple case of right and wrong.

"He's an adult and capable of telling, as we learned, the difference between right and wrong," he told the court.

"How much training do you need to learn that it's wrong to force a man to masturbate?"

But Mr Myers argued that the military bore a degree of responsibility.

"Punish him, yes. But please try to understand the defence's point of view that there is corporate responsibility," he said.

"We discovered that he has no abhorrent tendencies."

Two other reservists, Sgt Javal Davis and Specialist Charles Graner, also face hearings this week.

In total, seven military police and an intelligence officer have been charged in connection with the abuse.

'Stripped naked'

Frederick, a military policeman and a prison officer at a state jail in Virginia, told the court he knew what he was doing.

"I was wrong about what I did and I shouldn't have done it," he said.

"I knew it was wrong at the time because I knew it was a form of abuse."

I was crying - I wanted to kill myself
Alleged Iraqi victim

He described life inside the prison, saying prisoners were stripped naked, dressed in women's underwear and otherwise physically and mentally abused.

He admitted forcing a group of detainees to masturbate while other soldiers watched and took pictures, and described watching a fellow soldier jumping on prisoners' hands and feet.

He said he could have stopped the abuse but did not, and instead punched one prisoner who had apparently attacked a female soldier. The prisoner needed resuscitation.


At Frederick's hearing, an Iraqi man took the stand and said Frederick had made him masturbate in front of the other prisoners.

"I was crying. I wanted to kill myself," he said.

He said he and other prisoners then had to sleep naked with bags on their heads in cells flooded with water, adding that he still felt humiliated by the ordeal.

The US says it has made efforts to improve conditions at the prison since the abuses came to light.

More than 2,000 people are still being held there indefinitely without charge.

Despite questions about how high up the chain of command these abuses were sanctioned, no senior army officials outside the prison have been held responsible and there have been no high-level resignations.

Why Sgt Frederick abused prisoners

Taipei Times Online Two more Abu Ghraib guards face court martials - 10 hrs ago
newsobserver.com Trial dates set for two U.S. reservists in Abu Ghraib prison abuse case - 18 hrs ago
Asian Age US abuse soldier gets 8 yrs - 19 hrs ago
MSNBC Trial dates set in Iraq abuse case - 20 hrs ago
Herald Tribune Trial Dates Set in Abu Ghraib Abuse Cases - 20 hrs ago
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