US soldier admits Afghan abuse

A private who has pleaded guilty to abusing a detainee in Afghanistan, said his sergeant ordered a detainee to roll on the ground and kiss his boots as another soldier stood by and watched.

    Six soldiers are accused of the killing of one detainee

    Sergeant Joshua Claus, a military intelligence interrogator with the 519th MI Battalion at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, is accused of mistreating prisoners and lying about it.

    He has previously said he plans to plead guilty to the abuse allegations when his case goes to trial on Wednesday.

    Private Glendale Walls, who said Claus ordered a detainee to kiss his boots, pleaded guilty in August to abusing a detainee who later died, and standing by as Claus and another soldier did the same thing.

    According to army documents, Claus is charged with maltreatment, making a false official statement and assault.

    He is accused of forcing water down the throat of a detainee known as Dilawar and tightly twisting a hood over the man's head.

    He is also accused of mistreating another unidentified detainee.

    Reservists accused

    Dilawar died at the Bagram Airfield detention centre in December 2002.

    A number of detainees are held
    at the Bagram army base

    At least six soldiers have been accused of abusing Dilawar. No one has been charged with causing his death.

    Claus is among nine enlisted soldiers originally charged in the abuse investigation sparked after two detainees died at the Bagram facility.

    Claus, Walls and another soldier were from the Fort Bragg MI battalion, while the other six were reservists with the Cincinnati-based 377th Military Police Company.

    Charges against five other reserve soldiers, including Captain Christopher Beiring who commanded the reservists at Bagram, were announced earlier this month.

    Acquittals

    A detainee known as Habibullah died in early December 2002, just days after arriving at the facility.

    Dilawar, who was brought to Bagram the day after Habibullah died, was found dead in his cell about a week later.

    Two soldiers, reservists from the Cincinnati-based unit, were acquitted earlier this month of charges that they beat Habibullah and later lied about it.

    Another of the Ohio reservists was given a letter of reprimand for dereliction of duty after criminal charges against him were dropped.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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