A military jury at Fort Bliss, TX, spared an Army reservist prison time but reduced his rank Aug. 18 for abuse of a detainee who later died at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. Prosecutors had asked that Pfc. Willie V. Brand, 27, be sent to a military prison for 10 years with a dishonorable discharge for the December 2002 beating. Instead, the panel reduced his rank to private, the lowest pay grade in the Army, and set him free.
Brand was convicted the previous day of assault, maltreatment, maiming and making a false statement in connection with the attack on a detainee known as Dilawar. The jury acquitted him of charges that he abused a second detainee, Habibullah. Both prisoners died at Bagram shortly after the incident. (AP, Aug. 19)
See also WW4 REPORT # 79