A US soldier at the centre of a prisoner abuse scandal at the notorious Abu Ghraib jail in Baghdad has received an eight year sentence for his role in the affair. US Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick was also demoted to the rank of private, had his pay forfeited and received a dishonourable discharge. The army reservist had pleaded guilty to five charges of abusing detainees.
He admitted to beating and humiliating prisoners to try and soften them up before interrogation. He added that at the time he knew his actions were wrong because they constituted a form of abuse. Frederick, who was a prison guard in civilian life, was involved in some of the infamous incidents at Abu Ghraib.These include forcing naked prisoners to form a human pyramid and attaching wires to a hooded man telling him he could be electrocuted if he stepped off a box. Frederick is the most senior officer to be charged in the scandal so far, and his is the toughest conviction to date. His lawyer plans to appeal, saying the sentence is excessive and that the military must share responsibility for what went on at Abu Ghraib.