1pm update Abu Ghraib soldier sentenced to three years in jail
Staff and agencies
Wednesday September 28, 2005
A US soldier was last night sentenced to three years in jail and given a dishonourable discharge for her role in the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.Lynndie England appeared in several photographs that were published around the world of prisoners in degrading poses.
In one image, the 22-year-old soldier held a naked prisoner on a leash; in others she posed with a pyramid of naked detainees and pointed at a prisoner's genitals.
Her sentencing concluded the last of nine courts martial of soldiers charged in the abuse scandal, which tarnished the US military at home and abroad. She was convicted on Monday on six of the seven counts against her.
The charges carried a sentence of up to nine years in jail, but the prosecutor, Captain Chris Graveline, asked the jury to imprison her for four to six years.
In sentencing testimony, England apologised for her actions and said she remained an American patriot.
"After the photos were released, I've heard that attacks were made on US armed forces because of them," she said.
"I apologise to coalition forces and all the families," England told the jury of five officers. She also apologised to "detainees, the families, America and all the soldiers".
She said she had posed for the photos at the behest of Private Charles Graner Jr, the boyfriend who she said had taken advantage of her love and trust while they were deployed in Iraq. "I was used by Private Graner," she said. "I didn't realise it at the time."
Iraqis reacted angrily today on hearing of England's lenient sentence.
"America should be ashamed of this sentence. This is the best evidence that Americans have double standards," said a retired bus driver in Baghdad. "There are Iraqis in jail without any charge, just based on suspicion, but when it comes to Americans the matter is totally different."
Graner is serving a 10-year sentence for abuses at the prison.