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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 January 2006, 06:48 GMT
US officer guilty of Iraqi death
A US officer has been found guilty of the negligent homicide of an Iraqi general who was being held in custody.

But a jury of six army officers found Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr not guilty of the murder of Maj-Gen Abed Hamed Mowhoush in 2003.

The officer now faces up to three years in jail for homicide. He was also convicted of dereliction of duty.

Prosecutors say Gen Mowhoush was bound, placed headfirst in a sleeping bag and died with an officer sitting on him.

It was one of a number of deaths of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan under investigation by the US military.

At the beginning of the trial, defence lawyers called a witness who claimed he had overheard a juror coming under pressure from a senior officer, and applied for the case to be dismissed because of "unlawful command influence".

But the judge rejected the request.

Gen Mowhoush died while being held at al-Qaim in Iraq, near the Syrian border.

A death certificate published by the Pentagon gave the cause as asphyxia due to smothering and chest compression.


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