The military hearing in the conduct of PFC Lynndie England, and her participation in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal started today.
PFC England walked into the military courtroom a somber and sullen woman, and visibly pregnant.
She faces 13 counts of abusing detainees and six counts stemming from possession of sexually explicit photos not related to the Iraq prisoners.
Army investigator, Paul D. Arthur, stated under oath that he was alerted to problems at the prison as far back as Jan. 13, when a soldier came forward and gave him a CD containing the abusive photos. The soldier also told Mr. Arthur that the prisoners were being abused. Mr. Anderson stated he started a smaller level investigation that same evening.
When Mr. Anderson questioned PFC England, she told him that: they were joking around, having some fun, working the night shift."
Mr. Arthur also added Arthur said he believed the Military Police were responding to the stress of being in a war zone.
"It was just for fun, kind of venting their frustration," Mr. Arthur said as he concluded his testimony.
US Army prosecutors state they have 25 potential witnesses, but did not state how many of the witnesses were for the prosecution or the defense.
Another member of PFC England s unit, who is also indicted in the prisoner abuse scandal, is being charge with Adultery. The man is the father of PFC England s unborn child. Army regulations specifically prohibit male/female fraternization in a combat situation. Further, Army regulations also prohibit fraternization between a higher rank and a lower rank person. The father of PFC England s child is a Specialist higher rank than England s PFC rank. The Specialist may have additional charges brought against it if the military hearing so warrants.
One US Army Military Police Specialist has pleaded guilty to all counts and has received a sentence of one year in prison.