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Abu Ghraib officer acquitted of not controlling soldiers, convicted on other charges

[JURIST] US Army Lt. Col. Steven Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive] was acquitted by a military jury Tuesday of failing to control soldiers under his command who abused detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive]. He was convicted, however, of disobeying an order not to discuss the investigation into abuse allegations. Jordan was the second highest intelligence officer at the prison when the abuses took place and is the only commissioned officer to be tried in connection with the prisoner abuse scandal. He faces up to five years in prison.

Prosecutors initially charged [JURIST report] Jordan 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. Two charges were dropped [JURIST report] before his court-martial began last week after after new evidence came to light that Jordan provided statements to an official investigating the Iraqi prison abuse allegations without being properly read his rights, making his statements inadmissible. In his 2004 report [PDF text; JURIST report], Maj. Gen. George R. Fay recommended that Jordan and Col. Thomas Pappas [official profile], Jordan's superior, be punished for their roles in the abuse scandal. Pappas was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony against Jordan. Pappas testified during Jordan's Article 32 hearing [JURIST report] that Jordan was concerned that he did not have the proper training or experience to assume his role running the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center [backgrounder] at Abu Ghraib. AP 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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