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Abu Ghraib court-martial postponed until August as charges reduced

[JURIST] A military judge Tuesday postponed to August 20 the court-martial [JURIST report] of the only officer charged with abuse in the Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] prison scandal. Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive], who at the time of the abuses was the second highest intelligence officer at the prison, argued at a Tuesday pre-trial hearing that he was never properly informed of his rights and pushed for a dismissal of the charges. The presiding judge at the hearing in Washington DC's Fort McNair [official website], Colonel Stephen Henley, found merit in some of Jordan's claims and threw out one charge. Jordan still faces up to 16 and a half years in prison, down from the original 22 years. Jordan's superior officer at the prison, Colonel Thomas Pappas, was granted immunity in exchange for testifying against him.

Jordan was originally charged [JURIST report] in 2006 with seven violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice [text], including disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction of duty, failure to obey a regulation, false swearing, cruelty and maltreatment, and interfering with an investigation. The trial was originally set to begin on July 10th [JURIST report], but the delay was granted to provide additional time to review documents and e-mails from the prison. AFP has more.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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