Second prison sentence in Abu Ghraib trials
A U.S. military court in Baghdad sentenced an American soldier to eight months in prison after he pleaded guilty to abusing inmates at the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Specialist Armin J. Cruz is the first military intelligence soldier to stand trial. The spotlight in the prisoner abuse scandal so far has been on prison guard reservists.
Two U.S. studies ordered by the Pentagon last month found that higher-ranking U.S. Army officers and defence officials were aware of prisoner maltreatment in the jail holding thousands of Iraqis, but concluded the abuses took place mainly on the initiative of individual lower-ranking prison personnel.
As well as jail time, he also received a reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge. Cruz had faced a maximum of 12 months in prison.
Cruz pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to maltreatment of prisoners, but planned to file an appeal against the sentence.
INDEPTH: The Road to Abu Ghraib
- FROM AUG. 23, 2004: Alleged ringleader appears at Abu Ghraib pre-trial hearings
Six other soldiers still face charges. Another, Pte. Jeremy Sivits, pleaded guilty at a special court martial held in Baghdad in May and was sentenced to a year in prison.