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Archive for Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Soldier testifies Lynndie England willing participant in abuse

August 31, 2004

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— Pfc. Lynndie England stomped on fingers and toes and appeared to be having a good time as she ridiculed naked, hooded Iraqi detainees while others took photographs at the Abu Ghraib prison, a fellow soldier testified Monday.

Pvt. Jeremy C. Sivits, who already has pleaded guilty in the scandal, testified at a hearing in England's case that a sergeant at the Baghdad prison ordered England and another soldier to stop "stomping on the fingers and toes" of a detainee one night in December 2003.

After the sergeant left, Sivits testified, he watched as Spc. Charles Graner Jr. and others stacked seven naked detainees, who had bags over their heads, in a pyramid and photographed them. The infamous photos included shots of England, 21, smiling and pointing at one detainee's genitals.

"Corporal Graner seemed like he was enjoying it," said Sivits, of the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company. He testified that England was "laughing and having a good time."

England and Sivits are among seven members of the 372nd charged in the scandal. Graner has been portrayed as the ringleader in the abuse allegations.

England's hearing, which began earlier this month, is to determine whether the personnel clerk from Fort Ashby, W.Va., should face a court-martial on 13 counts of abusing detainees and six counts stemming from possession of sexually explicit photos not involving detainees. If convicted, she could get up to 38 years in prison.

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