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Judge rules Bush remarks on Abu Ghraib do not taint prospective jury

[JURIST] Military judge Colonel James Pohl ruled today that statements by President Bush and top military leaders relating to the alleged abuses at Abu Ghraib prison were not specific enough to taint the jury pool for next month's trial of Spc. Charles Graner Jr., the reputed ringleader in the case. Pohl, however, did indicate that he may reconsider the issue if it becomes clear that jurors are being influenced to a degree that Graner's right to a fair trial has been jeopardized. Graner's attorney Guy Womack attempted to get the charges dropped by showing Bush and other military leaders are at the top of Graner's chain of command and therefore their statements would have an unlawful command influence over prospective jurors. Graner's trial is expected to begin on January 7. He is charged with conspiracy to maltreat detainees, assault, committing indecent acts, obstruction of justice and adultery. In a separate ruling, Pohl also denied a defense request to compel Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, the former US commander in Iraq, to testify. AP has more.

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