The defense for Spc. Charles Graner Jr. rested its case Thursday without the accused ringleader of abuses at the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/mailbox/22/101/397/12790_Berg.html ' target=_blank>Abu Ghraib prison taking the stand. The jury of four Army officers and six senior enlisted men was expected to begin deliberating after closing arguments Friday.
Graner's lawyers had indicated earlier that Graner would probably be the final witness, and that he would offer his version of what occurred in a scandal that stirred outrage against the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/main/2002/07/27/33295.html ' target=_blank>United States around the world.
But defense lawyer Guy Womack said the other witnesses provided all of the evidence necessary to make the case that military and civilian intelligence agents controlled Abu Ghraib and ordered Graner to soften up detainees for questioning, says USA Today.
According to the ABC News, the defense witness, former Spc. Megan Ambuhl, admitted under cross-examination that she had had a brief sexual relationship with Graner and remains a close friend.
"And you don't want your friend to go to jail?" asked Maj. Michael Holley, the prosecutor. "No, sir," she answered.
Ambuhl, who made a plea deal with prosecutors regarding her own actions at Abu Ghraib, also said she lied to investigators who sought to search her personal computer for photos and other evidence of abuse.
A second witness from Graner's unit said he saw military intelligence officials bind together three naked Iraqis accused of raping an Iraqi boy. Kenneth Davis said Graner assisted three military intelligence officers, even though he outranked them, and followed their request to shout at one man to undress.
In questioning, prosecutors highlighted that the rapists were not intelligence targets.
The court viewed photos of the three bound prisoners from that October 2003 night taken by Pfc. Lynndie England, a clerk with whom Graner later fathered a child and who also is facing a court-martial.