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US soldier convicted of abusing Afghan prisoner at Bagram

[JURIST] Court-martial proceedings for 15 US soldiers [AP overview] implicated in the abuse of detainees at Bagram Air Base [JURIST news archive] in Afghanistan, including the beating deaths of two Afghanis [US Army press release; JURIST report], ended in Fort Bliss, Texas on Thursday with only one conviction, resulting in a demotion in rank and three months in prison for former Pfc. Willie V. Brand. Three other soldiers pleaded guilty [JURIST report] last year to abusing prisoners at the Bagram Air Field detention center in Afghanistan, two others pleaded guilty at the court-martial, five were acquitted, the army dropped the charges against three others.

Pfc. Damien M. Corsetti, of the 519th Military Intelligence Battalion, was acquitted of charges of dereliction of duty, maltreatment, assault, wrongful use of hashish and alcohol, and performing an indecent act with another person. A New York Times investigative report [text] published in 2005 said Corsetti was known at the Bagram Air Field [Globalsecurity.org backgrounder] detention center as the "King of Torture" and "The Monster" for his abusive tendencies, though his superior officers testified at the court-martial that they never saw Corsetti doing anything wrong. He was not charged with the assault leading to the two deaths. AP has more.

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