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Afghan appeals court reduces sentences of three Americans convicted of torture

[JURIST] An appeals court in Afghanistan has reduced the sentences of three US citizens who had been convicted of torturing Afghans and running a private jail in Kabul. The three men, Jonathan Idema [BBC profile], Brent Bennett and Edward Caraballo, who were in Afghanistan on a freelance terrorist hunt, were arrested in July, 2004 after Afghan forces raided a house in Kabul and found eight Afghan men being held captive. The three were sentenced last September during a trial which correspondents called chaotic and marred by poor translation. Defense lawyers argued the Afghan legal system was not fit to try the men. Idema and Bennett's sentences were reduced from ten years to five and three respectively, while Carballo's sentence was reduced from eight to two years after the court dismissed a charge that they entered the country illegally. The court also rejected an appeal to overturn the convictions. The three will appeal to the Afghan Supreme Court. AP has more.

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