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Danish soldiers plead not guilty to charges of Iraqi prisoner abuse

[JURIST] A Danish intelligence officer, Reserve Capt. Annemette Hommel, and four military police sergeants pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of abuse of Iraqi prisoners [JURIST report]. The military prosecutor, Benny Holm Frandsen, told a Copenhagen court that the soldiers were guilty of inhumane treatment of prisoners [JURIST report]. Hommel, who could face up to one year in prison, has denied the charges and claimed that she did not know the interrogation methods were illegal. Hommel was quoted in the Danish press as saying "I was fully convinced that the training was in accordance with the Geneva conventions ... nobody told me that I could not use the tools I was given by the army." The trial is expected to last until December. Despite it, the Danes are not expected to begin withdrawal from Iraq until at least June, and the Danish people are still largely in favor of the government's support of the war. The Danish government website provides a news report on the start of court proceedings. Reuters has more; Århus Stiftstidende has local coverage [in Danish].

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