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US Marine paralegal accused of false statement after Guantanamo abuse claim

[JURIST] Lt. Col. Colby Vokey, the US Marine defense coordinator for the western US, told the Associated Press Friday that his paralegal, Sgt. Heather Cerveny, has been accused of having made a false statement by Army Col. Richard Basset. Bassett was ordered to investigate alleged abuses of detainees [JURIST report] at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive] after Cerveny provided a two-page sworn statement [PDF] last October claiming she conversed with a group of off-duty Marines who bragged of beating and abusing detainees.

Cerveny said the Marines identified themselves as guards, and led her to believe that the mistreatment - including the arbitrary denial of privileges, physically striking detainees, and depriving the detainees of hydration - was common practice and laughed at stories of how prisoners had been handled. Basset submitted his report [AP report] in December but it has not been made public. AP has more.

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