Convicted Abu Ghraib ringleader released early

The convicted ringleader of abuses committed at Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad was released Aug. 6 after serving more than six-and-a-half years of his 10-year sentence. Army Spc. Charles Graner, who was being held at the US Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, was released early as a result of earning days off for good behavior. Graner was convicted 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 heard arguments in the appeal of his 10-year sentence and affirmed his conviction the following month. Graner will remain under military supervision until 2014.

In June, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) initiated a grand jury investigation into the torture and death of a detainee at Abu Ghraib. Manadel al-Jamadi was captured by US Navy SEALs on Nov. 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) [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 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 the torture and war crimes investigation.

From Jurist, Aug. 6. Used with permission.

See our last post on the detainment and torture scandals.

  1. Torture cases against Abu Ghraib contractors dismissed
    The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, VA, on Sept. 21 dismissed two cases filed by former Iraqi detainees who claimed they had been tortured by civilian contractors at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. The three-judge panel ruled 2-1 to dismiss both cases, filed against contractors CACI International Inc. and L-3 Services, holding that federal law protecting civilian contractors acting under the control of the US military in a combat situation preempted the plaintiffs’ tort claims based in state law. (Jurist, Sept. 22)