The convicted ringleader of abuses committed at Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive] in Baghdad was released Saturday after serving more than six-and-a-half years of his 10-year sentence. Army Spc. Charles Graner [JURIST news archive], who was being held at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, was released early [AP report] as a result of earning days off for good behavior. Graner was convicted [JURIST report] in 2005 of conspiracy, assault, maltreating prisoners, dereliction of duty, and committing indecent acts and received the longest sentence of the six others involved in the abuses. In May 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces [official website] heard arguments [JURIST report] in the appeal of his 10-year sentence and affirmed his conviction [AP report] the following month. Graner will remain under military supervision until 2014.
In June, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] initiated a grand jury investigation [JURIST report] into the torture and death of a detainee at Abu Ghraib. Manadel Al-Jamadi was captured [JURIST report] by US Navy SEALs on November 4, 2003, and held in Abu Ghraib prison as a "ghost detainee," or unregistered prisoner, for his suspected involvement in the bombing of a Red Cross center in Baghdad that killed 12 people. Ninety minutes after entering Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) [official website] custody he was dead and his body was preserved in ice, allegedly to cover up the circumstances of his death. Al-Jamadi's death at the detention center was ruled a homicide [JURIST report] and the US military never revealed the exact circumstances, though reports show he died while suspended by his wrists, which were handcuffed behind his back. Federal prosecutor John Durham is leading [AP report] the torture and war crimes investigation.