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Britain convincts 2 in iraq abuse
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Britain Convicts 2 in Iraq Abuse; Sex Photos Unsolved
Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:54 AM ET
OSNABRUECK, Germany (Reuters) - Britain convicted two soldiers Wednesday for abusing Iraqi detainees, but failed to punish anyone for making prisoners pose for simulated sex pictures similar to those in the U.S. Abu Ghraib scandal.
At the end of a five-week court martial and 20-month investigation, Lance Corporal Mark Cooley was convicted of simulating punching a detainee and putting a trussed up man on the front of a forklift truck.
Corporal Daniel Kenyon was convicted of aiding and abetting in a beating and of failing to report the incidents of the simulated sex act and the forklift truck.
They had taken place during an operation against looters near the city of Basra in southern Iraq in May 2003.
Earlier in the trial, another soldier, Lance Corporal Darren Larkin, pleaded guilty to assault for stamping on one detainee. All three are members of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers.
Cooley and Kenyon could each face up to two years in prison, and Larkin faces up to six months. Sentencing is expected on Friday.
But prosecutors failed to bring anyone to book for the worst abuse they uncovered: that of posing some of the detainees in simulated sex acts for trophy photos that caused shock.
The photos were splashed across newspapers and Web sites around the world in an echo of last April's Abu Ghraib prison photos scandal.
They came to light after fusilier Gary Bartlam returned to Britain and took his films to be developed. Film laboratory workers alerted authorities.
Judge Advocate Michael Hunter allowed the media Wednesday to report for the first time that Bartlam had pleaded guilty to taking the pictures and helping to tie an Iraqi to a forklift truck. He received an 18-month sentence at an earlier trial.
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