[QODLink]
Archive
Abu Ghraib dog handler found guilty
A jury in the United States has found an Army dog handler guilty of abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison by terrifying
Last Modified: 21 Mar 2006 21:28 GMT
Soldiers used dogs to intimidate inmates at Abu Ghraib
A jury in the United States has found an Army dog handler guilty of abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison by terrifying them with a military dog, allegedly for his own amusement.

Sergeant Michael J Smith, 24, was found guilty of six of 13 counts. A judge later dismissed one of the counts, saying it duplicated another charge.

 

Smith faces up to eight and a half years in prison on the five remaining counts, forfeiture of all pay and allowances and a dishonourable discharge.

 

He had faced the stiffest potential sentence of any soldier charged so far in the Abu Ghraib scandal - up to twenty four and a half years in prison if convicted on all counts. 

 

The military jury deliberated for about 18 hours over three days before announcing its verdict.

 

The government contended that Smith, of the 523rd Military Police Detachment, Fort Riley, Kansas, used his black Belgian shepherd to intimidate five prisoners for fun and competed with another canine handler trying to make detainees soil themselves.

 

Compliance

 

In closing arguments on Friday, a prosecutor said Smith had violated two tenets of his training: Treat prisoners humanely and use the minimum amount of force needed to ensure compliance.

 

The defence argued that Smith was a good soldier who had done what he was supposed to do by having his dog bark at prisoners in a dangerous, chaotic environment where policies were so fuzzy that even the general who supervised interrogations testified he felt confused.

 

Smith was found guilty under the Uniform Code of Military Justice of two counts of maltreatment involving three detainees, one count of conspiring to make a contest of making detainees soil themselves, dereliction of duty, assault and an indecent act.

 

The soldier, wearing his green dress uniform, stood at attention staring straight ahead as a panel member read the verdict.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
People
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.