U.S. Soldier Faces Court Martial in Iraqi
Prisoner Abuse Case
Washington -- The United States Army has announced it will hold
a court martial proceeding against an American soldier charged with abusing
Iraqi detainees in the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad.
U.S. Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt said May 9 that a 24-year old military
policeman, Jeremy Sivits, would go on trial May 19.
Kimmitt, chief spokesman for the U.S. military command in Baghdad, said Sivits
faces three charges: conspiracy to maltreat detainees; dereliction of duty for
negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty and maltreatment;
and maltreatment of detainees.
Kimmitt indicated that the court martial would be held in Baghdad, subject to
President Bush said in his weekly radio address to the American people May 8
that the United States is conducting several investigations into the humiliation
and abuse of prisoners in Iraq, and that those involved will be identified and
The abuse of prisoners does "not reflect our values," Bush said. The incidents
"are a stain on our country's honor and reputation."
Bush said U.S. military authorities would thoroughly review all prison
operations in Iraq "to make certain similar disgraceful incidents are never
"Americans believe in the worth and rights and dignity of every person," the
During an interview with the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram May 6, Bush also said
that the images of inhumane acts against Iraqi prisoners by U.S. military
personnel were abhorrent, and he offered a direct apology to the prisoners and
their families for the humiliation they experienced.
Americans reject such treatment of people, Bush said. He promised that not only
would there be a full investigation, but that judicial proceedings against the
accused would be fully transparent to the world.
"I am sorry for the humiliation suffered by those (Iraqi) individuals," the
president said. "It makes me sick to my stomach to see that happen."
In another matter involving Iraq, Paul Bremer, administrator of the U.S.-led
Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in that country, congratulated the Iraqi
Minister of Water, Abdul Latif, for his ministry's advance on the road to
sovereignty. The transfer is part of the return of control over Iraq's
ministries to the Iraqi people.
Bremer said in a May 9 CPA press release that Latif and his staff "have laid the
foundation to more efficiently manage the water system within Iraq that will
optimize the use of this valuable resource to provide more water for irrigation,
power generation, and to efficiently route future flood waters."
The CPA said that the Ministry of Water Resources has made important progress in
the rebuilding of Iraq's water resources system. The CPA added that it will
continue to work with its Iraqi partners to bring about a fundamental change in
how Iraqi government ministries operate and serve their people.
(The Washington File is a product of the Bureau of International Information
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