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Archive for Friday, January 20, 2006

Attorney: Soldier likely violated Geneva rules

January 20, 2006

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— A U.S. State Department lawyer testified Thursday that an American soldier charged with murder in the death of an Iraqi general appears to have violated the Geneva Conventions on wartime conduct.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. is accused of killing Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush in 2003.

Prosecutors say Mowhoush was placed headfirst in a sleeping bag and bound with an electrical cord for interrogation. They say he suffocated while Welshofer sat on his chest and occasionally used his hands to cover Mowhoush's mouth.

State Department lawyer David Hodgkinson, who advises the Defense Department and other nations on the Geneva Conventions, said he thought the techniques violated the conventions' humanitarian provisions. He said the Geneva rules protect against physical and mental coercion or possibly lethal activity.

The prosecution rested Thursday, the fourth day of the court-martial at Fort Carson.

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