No jail for army interrogator over death of Iraqi general

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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis E. Welshofer Jr. of the U.S. Army's 3d Cavalry Regiment will not have to serve any jail time for his involvement in the death of Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush during an interrogation. The Iraqi general died after Welshofer shoved the general head-first into a sleeping bag, sat on him and occasionally covered the generals mouth with his hands.

On Saturday, a jury consisting of six military officers acquitted him of murder and assault charges, but found him guilty of negligent homicide and negligent dereliction of duty, charges that carry a combined maximum sentence of 3 years and 3 months. On Monday the military jurors handed down the verdict involving no prison time but imposed a $6000 fine and restricted his movements between work, worship and his barracks for 60 days.

This sentence stands in stark contrast to that of lower ranking army personal convicted for mistreatment of detainees at the Abu-Ghraib prison. Although none of the victims considered in the Abu-Ghraib cases died, the sentences handed down were significantly harsher, with former corporal Charles A. Graner Jr. serving 10 years in federal prison, former staff sergeant Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick II was serving 8 1/2 years and former private first class Lynndie R. England serving three years.

Before taking effect, the sentence must be approved by Maj. Gen. Robert W. Mixon, who cannot order a harsher sentence but may reduce it or set it aside entirely.

Related news

"U.S. army interrogator convicted in Iraqi general's death" — Wikinews, January 23, 2006

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