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US soldier to plead guilty in Iraqi abuse case

[JURIST] US Army Sgt. Javal S. Davis [CBS News profile] will plead guilty to reduced charges next week after reaching a deal with prosecutors, Davis' attorney Paul Bergrin said Thursday. Davis had been charged [charge sheet] with maltreatment of detainees and other charges in the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal, but he will instead plead guilty to simple assault and making false statements. Davis faces a maximum 1 1/2 year prison sentence under the deal, rather than the 8 1/2 years he could have been sentenced to under the old charges. The deal must still be approved by Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, the top US commander in Iraq. Davis' court-martial is scheduled to begin Tuesday at Fort Hood, TX. A breakthrough in negotiations came after Spc. Charles Graner Jr. was convicted [JURIST report] on abuse charges stemming from events at Abu Ghraib. Bergrin planned to use a similar defense in Davis' case. AP has more.

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