BREAKING NEWS ~ Military jury finds Abu Ghraib dog handler guilty of detainee abuse

BREAKING NEWS ~ Military jury finds Abu Ghraib dog handler guilty of detainee abuse

[JURIST] AP is reporting that a military jury has found US Army Sgt. Santos A. Cardona guilty of abusing detainees at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison [JURIST news archive]. Cardona was charged with maltreatment of prisoners, dereliction of duty and assault in connection with the use of unmuzzled dogs [JURIST report] when questioning detainees at Abu Ghraib. Sgt. Michael Smith was convicted and sentenced to six months in prison [JURIST reports] on similar charges in March.

The military jury heard testimony that Cardona and Smith competed with each other to see who could make detainees soil themselves first but Cardona's attorneys portrayed him as a low-ranking soldier following orders from above. There have been allegations that Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller [Wikipedia backgrounder], the former commander of military intelligence at Guantanamo Bay [JURIST news archive], recommended the use of dogs during interrogations at Abu Ghraib during a visit to the prison in 2003. In testimony during Cardona's court-martial, however, Miller denied recommending the use of dogs [JURIST report] for interrogation purposes.

5:06 PM – BBC News is reporting that Cardona has been convicted of two counts of abuse and dereliction of duty and faces a possible three-and-a-half year prison sentence.