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Judge refuses to admit England statements on Abu Ghraib abuse

[JURIST] Military judge Col. James Pohl ruled Friday that the statements Pfc. Lynndie England [Wikipedia profile; JURIST news archive] made to Army investigators in January 2004 regarding her actions in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal [JURIST news archive] cannot be admitted as evidence in her trial. Pohl explained the ruling by saying he believes England did not completely understand the potential ramifications of speaking to the investigators and thus waiving her rights against self-incrimination. The ruling followed expert testimony indicating that England tries to please individuals in positions of authority and has difficulty comprehending complex language. The judge said he would listen to evidence by the prosecution to possibly readmit one of the two statements. On Thursday, Pohl refused the defense's request that he step down [JURIST report] after declaring a mistrial in England's first trial. AP has more.

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