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US officers say Iraq interrogation rules unclear in court-martial testimony

[JURIST] Two US military intelligence officers testified on Friday in the court-martial [JURIST report] of Army Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. that the interrogation rules in place during the first months of the Iraq war were unclear and that Welshofer was not aware of what techniques were prohibited when he interrogated an Iraqi general in 2003. Welshofer is facing murder charges stemming from the 2003 incident [JURIST report] where Iraqi Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush was placed in a sleeping bag, bound, and sat on as a means of interrogation by US forces [Washington Post report; Article 32 military hearing transcript, PDF]. Welshofer's defense lawyer argued that the lack of information about interrogation rules played a substantial role in Mowhoush's death. The defense further argued that Welshofer was under immense stress at the time of the interrogation, and that the techniques he employed were permitted by his commanding officers as they attempted to figure out the interrogation rules [AP report]. Welshofer, one of three US military officers originally charged [JURIST report] with murdering Mowhoush, has been standing trial at a US military base in Fort Carson, Colorado. Jurors will commence deliberation on Saturday after closing arguments. AP has more.

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