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Judge rules CIA contractor charged with detainee abuse can plead 'following orders'

[JURIST] US District Judge Terrence Boyle [official profile] from the US District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina [official website] has ruled that David Passaro [Wikipedia profile], the first US civilian charged with prisoner abuse of a terror detainee, can present evidence at trial to show that he was following government orders. Passaro, a former Army special operations soldier and a CIA contract employee who was working in Afghanistan [JURIST news archive], is charged with assaulting Afghan prisoner Abdul Wali [Wikipedia profile] who died in US custody in June 2003. No trial date has been set, but Passaro may face up to 40 years in prison if convicted. Passaro claims the US military used him as a scapegoat following revelations about prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib [JURIST news archive] in Iraq. AP has more.

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