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UPDATE ~ CIA contractor found guilty of detainee abuse

[JURIST] A federal jury sitting in Raleigh, North Carolina on Thursday found David Passaro [Raleigh News and Observer materials] guilty of abusing a detainee in Afghanistan [JURIST report]. The jury convicted Passaro on three misdemeanor counts of simple assault and one felony count of assault resulting in bodily injury, after prosecutors charged [indictment] him with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon and two counts of assault resulting in a serious injury under the USA Patriot Act [JURIST news archive]. The jury reached a partial verdict [JURIST report] Wednesday, but the verdict was sealed until the jury came to a full consensus on all the charges.

Last year, US District Judge Terrence Boyle [official profile] ruled that prosecutors could charge Passaro under the Patriot Act, saying that the US can charge nationals with crimes committed at facilities used by the US government. Passaro was charged [JURIST report] with abusing Afghan detainee Abdul Wali [Wikipedia profile] in 2004, and is the first and only civilian to be tried in connection with detainee abuse in Iraq or Afghanistan. Passarro faces a maximum of 11.5 years in prison. AP has more. The Raleigh News & Observer has local coverage.

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