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Accused ring leader in abuse scandal pleads not guilty

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Accused ring leader in abuse scandal pleads not guilty


The accused ring leader in the Iraqi prisoner abuse scandal has repeated a not guilty plea at his court martial.

American reservist Charles Graner who faces 17 years in jail tried to appear upbeat on leaving court. His lawyer insists Graner was only following orders from his superiors: “The entire case deals with obedience to orders. Personally I feel the orders were all lawful. But even if they were unlawful, if a reasonable person would not have known it is to be unlawful, it’s a defence.” The photos of US soldiers degrading Iraqi detainees at the notorious Abu Ghraib jail shocked the world. Graner and his girlfriend Lyndie England quickly became the faces of the scandal, she also faces a court martial though a trial date has not yet been set. Their superiors are unlikely to face justice. Military leaders have blamed the abuses on a small group of soldiers and say there was no policy of mishandling prisoners.
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