[JURIST] US Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan [CBS profile; JURIST news archive] has pleaded not guilty to cruelty and maltreatment and other charges stemming from the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal [JURIST news archive]. Jordan is the only commissioned officer charged in connection to the abuse that occurred at the Iraqi prison. Before Jordan entered his plea Monday, prosecutors dropped two charges [JURIST report] against him, cutting the maximum jail time he could face if convicted to over eight years in prison.
Prosecutors dropped the two charges after new evidence came to light that Jordan provided statements to an official investigating the Iraqi prison abuse allegations without being properly read his rights, making his statements inadmissible. In his 2004 report [PDF text; JURIST report], Maj. Gen. George R. Fay recommended that Jordan and Col. Thomas Pappas [official profile], Jordan's superior, be punished for their roles in the abuse scandal. Pappas was granted immunity in exchange for his testimony against Jordan. Pappas testified during Jordan's Article 32 hearing [JURIST report] that Jordan was concerned that he did not have the proper training or experience to assume his role running the Joint Interrogation and Debriefing Center [backgrounder] at Abu Ghraib. AFP has more.