Jeremy C. Sivits

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Specialist Jeremy C. Sivits, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, "the unit at the center of the Abu Ghraib prison scandal" "faces court-martial May 19, 2004." [1]

Specialist Sivits has been charged with "alleging conspiracy to maltreat detainees, and dereliction of duty for negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse, cruelty and maltreatment" (May 5, 2004). [2]

According to the May 14, 2004, Associated Press article "Abu Ghraib guard strikes plea bargain, describes abuse," "Sivits, the first soldier scheduled to be court-martialed in the abuse scandal, was expected to plead guilty Wednesday [May 17th] in Baghdad. He has cooperated with prosecutors and faces lesser charges than his colleagues."

"Sivits, who took photos of abuse at the Abu Ghraib detention center in Iraq, described soldiers laughing and joking as they beat, stripped and sexually humiliated detainees, according to newspaper reports." Sivits "said the mistreatment was not authorized by higher-ups in the chain of command. 'Our command would have slammed us,' he said. 'They believe in doing the right thing. If they saw what was going on, there would have been hell to pay.'"
"Sivits' statements are the most in-depth descriptions of the abuse by a defendant to have been made public. Lawyers for the soldiers that Sivits named said his statements were 'fabricated' and questionable because of his plea deal."
"Transcripts of Sivits' statements were provided to The Washington Post by Harvey Volzer, a lawyer representing Spc. Megan M. Ambuhl, another soldier charged in the case. ... Ambuhl was the only soldier who Sivits did not accuse of wrongdoing in the statements."
"Sivits said he was told not to report the abuse. ... 'I was asked not to,' he said. 'And I try to be friends with everyone. I see now where trying to be friends with everyone can cost you.'"

"Sivits Pleads Guilty to Prisoner Abuse," AP, May 19, 2004:

Sivits pleaded guilty "to three counts of abuse in the first court-martial stemming from abuse of Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. ... Capt. Scott Dunn, Sivits' lawyer, entered the plea on his behalf and expressed concern about the huge media coverage of the trial, asking 'can you make a fair decision?' ... The judge, Col. James Pohl, replied: 'Just because it's on TV, it doesn't mean it's true.'"

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