A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Military drops case against US Marine paralegal who alleged Guantanamo abuse

[JURIST] Military officials announced Wednesday that the US Navy admiral overseeing US Southern Command [official website] has endorsed six of the seven recommendations made by US Army Col. Richard Bassett in a probe of alleged detainee abuse at Guantanamo Bay but has rejected any further action [JURIST report] against the US Marine paralegal who initially filed an affidavit reporting a conversation with several guards in which the abuses were allegedly described. Bassett was directed to undertake the investigation last fall after Marine Sgt. Heather Cerveny provided a two-page sworn statement [PDF] claiming she conversed [JURIST report] with a group of off-duty Marines who bragged of beating and abusing detainees. Southern Command said in a press release that "investigators conducted 20 separate interviews" and determined that "the evidence did not support any allegations of mistreatment or harassment."

Admiral James Stadrivis agreed with Bassett that no disciplinary action should be taken against the servicemen identified by Cerveny in her affidavit, that counseling should be given to one female guard who later made a fictitious claim of abuse, that guards working closely with detainees should be rotated, and that detainee procedures should be continuously updated. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.