First soldier to go on trial next week



The first court-martial of a soldier accused in the Abu Ghraib abuses will be held in central Baghdad next week under the full glare of international media coverage, US officials announced yesterday as they moved quickly to try to contain the prison scandal that has rocked Washington and inflamed the Arab world.

Specialist Jeremy C. Sivits, 24, a member of the 372d Military Police Company, will stand trial May 19, in the first of six expected courts-martial.

Brigadier General Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of US military operations in Iraq, said that in an effort to stop the scandal from further mobilizing Iraqi insurgents, all the trials will be "as transparent as possible," with US officials organizing maximum access for the news media. "They must be truly open," he said.

In what is sure to be a major media event, closed-circuit television monitors also will relay the proceedings to journalists in overflow rooms, he said..

 


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