The US soldier accused of being the ringleader in the prisoner abuse scandal in Iraq has been found guilty by a military court.
Special Charles Graner Junior was found guilty on ten charges of abusing inmates at the Abu Ghraib prison. But the ten member military jury altered one count to a lesser charge of assault rather than use of force likely to produce death or greivous bodily harm. Under the original charges Graner faced up to 17 and a half years in jail. The scandal came to light with the publication of pictures taken inside the prison in which detainees were shown being abused and humiliated by guards. The photos shocked the world and severely underminied the reputation of American forces in Iraq. US authorities said prisoners were abused by a handful of individuals and that there was no policy of maltreatment. Part of Graner’s defence was that he was following orders. Three other soldiers have been accused of similar offences including Lyndie Englund. She was Graner’s lover at the time and has since had a baby by him.