[JURIST] A colonel at the head of a military intelligence unit at Abu Ghraib prison has been reprimanded and fined $8000 in connection with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal. Col. Thomas M. Pappas [official profile], commander of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, could have faced a court-martial, but the Army administered nonjudicial punishment [DOD directive, PDF] and Pappas will not face criminal charges, according to a military spokesman speaking Wednesday. According to the US Defense Department's Fay Report [PDF] released last fall, Pappas was present in a room at Abu Ghraib while a plan was fashioned to cover up the death of a detainee [JURIST report]; he was additionally cited for using unauthorized interrogation procedures without checking with superior officers and for dereliction of duty for not insuring that soldiers under him were informed of and trained in proper interrogation techniques. Pappas had the option to contend the nonjudicial punishment and go in front of a court-martial, but has declined to do so. It is unknown yet whether Pappas' military career is over, as the Army's full findings have not been made public. Pappas is also a named defendant in a civil suit [PDF text] brought by former Abu Ghraib detainees and the ACLU in March. AP has more.
1:29 PM ET - Army officials said Thursday that in addition to getting a reprimand and fine, Pappas had also been relieved of his command. Reuters has more.