US medic guilty of fatal jail beating

A former CIA contractor has been found guilty of assaulting an Afghan prisoner who later died in a case that raises new questions about the treatment of detainees by US interrogators.

    The beaten detainee pleaded to be shot to end his misery

    David Passaro, a former Special Forces medic, was convicted on Thursday of assault causing serious injury and three counts of assault.

    Passaro, 40, was the first civilian to be charged with abusing a detainee in the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    During a trial that began on August 7, prosecutors said Passaro beat Abdul Wali so badly he pleaded to be shot to end his pain.

    Wali died of his injuries two days after the interrogation in June 2003.

    Prosecutors had charged Passaro with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon - a black metal flashlight - with intent of bodily harm, and two counts of assault resulting in serious bodily injury.

    Those counts included a potential sentence of up to 40 years in prison, but the jury convicted him of the lesser charges, an option given by US district court judge Terrence Boyle during jury instructions.
     
    The indictment said Passaro worked at a US military base in Afghanistan that was frequently subjected to rocket attacks and Wali was a suspect in the attacks.

    Torture guidelines

    Passaro's lawyers portrayed their client as a good soldier who went out of his way to offer care to Wali.

    They said Passaro even performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation in an unsuccessful bid to revive him.

    Guidelines given to interrogators have been an issue since a scandal broke at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in 2004.

    Prisoners released from the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba, where the United States is keeping suspected Taliban and al-Qaeda members, also say they were tortured or abused.

    Critics say US government guidelines on what constitutes torture issued since the September 11 attacks have created a climate in which abuse has flourished.

    Passaro, who was not charged with the detainee's death, faces up to eleven and a half years in prison. No sentencing date has been set.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Interactive: How does your country vote at the UN?

    Explore how your country voted on global issues since 1946, as the world gears up for the 74th UN General Assembly.

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    'We were forced out by the government soldiers'

    We dialled more than 35,000 random phone numbers to paint an accurate picture of displacement across South Sudan.

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Interactive: Plundering Cambodia's forests

    Meet the man on a mission to take down Cambodia's timber tycoons and expose a rampant illegal cross-border trade.