US military judge refuses to dismiss charges against senior Abu Ghraib officer

[JURIST] A US military judge Tuesday refused to dismiss charges stemming from the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal against US Army Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive], rejecting a defense motion that the superior officer who ordered Jordan's court-martial had committed unlawful command influence [Army backgrounder, PDF]. Jordan, the only commissioned officer charged in connection with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal [JURIST news archive], faces six charges including disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction of duty, failure to obey a general order, false swearing, cruelty and maltreatment, and making with a false official statement. Jordan's court-martial is expected to begin August 20, and if convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 16.5 years in prison.

In May, a military judge dismissed a single charge against Jordan and postponed his court-martial until August 20 [JURIST report] because the judge found merit in the defense's argument that Jordan was never properly informed of his rights. Jordan's superior officer at the prison, Col. Thomas Pappas [official profile], was granted immunity in exchange for testifying against Jordan. Jordan was the second highest intelligence officer at the prison and supervised the interrogation task force. AP has more.

 

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