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Accused MP to Call SCV Translator as Witness
By Leon Worden
Signal City Editor
Saturday, June 5, 2004
ttorneys for Pfc. Lynndie England will call Canyon Country resident John B. Israel as a witness at her military court hearing later this month, her legal team announced Friday.
England's witness list also includes Vice President Dick Cheney and Defense Sec. Donald Rumsfeld, a spokesman for the 21-year-old Army reservist said.
England, seen pointing and smiling in photographs of abuse last fall at Abu Ghraib prison, faces an Article 32 hearing at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina from June 21-25.
At the hearing the military equivalent of a preliminary hearing a judge will determine whether there is sufficient evidence to warrant court-martial proceedings.
Attorneys for Pfc. Lynndie England, seen here in a partially masked photo taken last fall at Abu Ghraib prison, say she followed the orders of her military and civilian intelligence superiors.
Israel, 48, is one of four men accused in an Army report as having been responsible for the prisoner abuse. A civilian, Israel was working under contract with Army intelligence as a translator for interrogators.
His defense attorney, Christopher A. Darden, did not return calls asking whether Israel will cooperate with England's request to appear.
Israel is not known to face criminal charges. An Army investigation recommended a formal inquiry to determine his culpability.
England's attorneys want to know what Israel knows.
"(The purpose of calling Israel to the stand is) to try to verify that there were other people such as military intelligence and OGA (other government agencies) who were giving orders" to England and the other guards, said Blake Ellis, an England representative.
Ellis said the guards were following orders from military and civilian intelligence personnel alike and it wasn't easy to tell the difference because they didn't wear uniforms or use their real names.
England is one of seven MPs charged so far for prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib. One, Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits, received a dishonorable discharge and a one-year prison sentence when he pleaded guilty to conspiracy, maltreatment of prisoners and dereliction of duty. He agreed to testify against the other guards.
England is charged with assaulting detainees, conspiracy and committing an indecent act by forcing prisoners to masturbate.
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