A military judge barred the release of photos from Abu Ghraib prison on Tuesday, which have already been published around the world. A day before the trial of Lyndie England, the U.S. soldier who held an Iraqi prisoner on a leash.
At a final pre-trial hearing, Judge Col. James Pohl also expressed skepticism about the central defense argument that England, 22, was overly compliant toward authority figures and could not always make reasoned judgments for herself.
“You are painting a picture of a woman who cannot think for herself in almost all circumstances,” Pohl told lead defense lawyer Capt. Jonathan Crisp.
"She does have to look to the authority figures around her and glean what to do," said Crisp, reports Reuters.
According to Guardian, in May, England made a plea agreement that eventually fell apart, but this time “there's not going to be a deal,” said Crisp, her lead defense lawyer.
Crisp said he plans to base much of his defense on England's history of mental health problems that date to her early childhood.
He said he also will focus on the influence exerted over her by Pvt. Charles Graner, the reputed ringleader of the abuse.
Graner, who England has said fathered her young son, was convicted in January and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
In her attempted plea deal, England pleaded guilty to all of the same counts she faces this week in exchange for an undisclosed sentencing cap. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 11 years.
Pohl threw out the plea deal and declared a mistrial during the sentencing phase because Graner's testimony contradicted England's guilty plea.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building