A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

US military judge refuses to dismiss charges against senior Abu Ghraib officer

[JURIST] A US military judge Tuesday refused to dismiss charges stemming from the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal against US Army Lt. Col. Steven Lee Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive], rejecting a defense motion that the superior officer who ordered Jordan's court-martial had committed unlawful command influence [Army backgrounder, PDF]. Jordan, the only commissioned officer charged in connection with the Abu Ghraib prison scandal [JURIST news archive], faces six charges including disobeying a superior commissioned officer, dereliction of duty, failure to obey a general order, false swearing, cruelty and maltreatment, and making with a false official statement. Jordan's court-martial is expected to begin August 20, and if convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 16.5 years in prison.

In May, a military judge dismissed a single charge against Jordan and postponed his court-martial until August 20 [JURIST report] because the judge found merit in the defense's argument that Jordan was never properly informed of his rights. Jordan's superior officer at the prison, Col. Thomas Pappas [official profile], was granted immunity in exchange for testifying against Jordan. Jordan was the second highest intelligence officer at the prison and supervised the interrogation task force. 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.