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US soldier accused in death of Iraqi general says interrogation methods approved

[JURIST] The military court-martial of Army Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. continued Tuesday with arguments from Welshofer's lawyer that interrogation methods used by the army officer were approved by his commander and were not the cause of the death of 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]. According to an autopsy report, Mowhoush died of suffocation as a result, but Welshofer argued instead that Mowhoush died as a result of an irregular heart beat caused by heart disease and stress from the interrogation. Three soldiers were originally charged [JURIST report] with the murder, but charges were dropped against one soldier last week as part of a plea bargain [JURIST report]. Under the deal, Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson Williams agreed to testify against Welshofer in exchange for not being expelled from the military. The court-martial is expected to last all week. AP has more.

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