Preliminary military court hearings are continuing for a U.S. soldier accused of 13 counts of abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. The hearings are to decide if Private First Class Lynndie England should face a court martial. She has been the most easily recognizable face in the scandal, after pictures of her emerged posing and smiling in front of naked and hooded Iraqi detainees. The presiding judge Tuesday denied Ms. England's request to question the general in charge of the prison at the time of the abuse, Brigadier General Janis Karpinski. Private England has maintained she was ordered to mistreat detainees by her higher-ups for interrogation tactics. So far, seven soldiers have been charged in the case. It is unclear when a decision on Private England's possible court martial will be made, informs VOANews. According to Reuters, a U.S. military judge adjourned a court hearing on Tuesday into prisoner abuse charges against Pfc. Lynndie England, and said she expected to decide soon whether the soldier photographed holding a naked Iraqi on a leash should face a court martial. "I anticipate submitting a report within a week, give or take a day or two," Col. Denise Arn said. Before the end of the seventh day of the hearings against England, prosecutors sought permission to bring a new charge of cruelty and maltreatment against England, the now pregnant 21-year-old soldier who became the public face of a scandal that shocked world opinion and rattled U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq. Arn did not immediately rule on the request, which England's defense team opposed. "We believe ... that it is unusual because due process has to be given. We believe due process was not given," said her attorney, Cpt. Jonathan Crisp. A military spokesman said the new charge was roughly equivalent in seriousness to most of the others. AP Wire publishes that prosecutors ended a military court hearing Tuesday for a soldier shown in infamous photos of naked Iraqi prisoners by requesting an additional charge of "maltreatment and cruelty" against Pfc. Lynndie England. The hearing to determine whether England should face a full court-martial adjourned without testimony from any of the high-level witnesses sought by the defense, including Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Investigating officer Col. Denise Arn said she would recommend within a week whether England should face a court-martial. During closing arguments at Fort Bragg, Capt. Crystal Jennings, a military prosecutor, read from the 21-year-old Army reservist's own statements that she stepped on prisoners' toes and posed for and took photos of naked detainees piled in human pyramids and being forced to simulate homosexual acts. "She was having fun," Jennings said. "There was no indication that she was there for any military purpose."
Read earlier news stories by PRAVDA.Ru &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/accidents/ 21/93/375/12666_UStroops.html ' target=_blank> Americans follow Saddam"s traditions of torturing prisoners ...
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