Archive for Friday, August 18, 2006

Former CIA contractor found guilty of assault

August 18, 2006

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— The first American civilian charged with mistreating a detainee during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was convicted Thursday of assaulting an Afghan man who later died.

Prosecutors said the verdict against former CIA contract worker David Passaro set a precedent for bringing others accused of such wrongdoing overseas back to the U.S. to stand trial. Human rights advocates, however, noted that no other U.S. civilian has been charged publicly with abusing detainees in the two years since Passaro's arrest.

After about eight hours of deliberations, a federal jury found Passaro guilty of three counts of simple assault and one count of assault resulting in serious bodily injury, lesser charges than prosecutors had sought. He faces up to 11 1/2 years in prison.

Passaro, 40, was working for the CIA as a contract worker in June 2003 when, prosecutors said, he beat Abdul Wali during two days of questioning about rocket attacks on a remote base where Passaro was stationed with U.S. and Afghan troops.

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