Army Memo re: Information Paper Concerning the Status of Charges Pending Against an Army Officer Accused of Detainee Abuse

Details abuse of Iraqi detainee at Gunner Collection Point. During interrogation of detainee, an Army officer threatened to shoot detainee. Held detainee's head in barrel and shot into the barrel. Discusses Article 32 investigation.

Non-legal Memo
Thursday, December 4, 2003
Sunday, May 15, 2005

Information Paper
4 December 2003
SUBJECT: Status of Charges Pending Against LTC IIIMIll
1. Pu ose: To .rov information on the current status of criminal charges pending against

LTC arising from allegations that he assaulted and threatened an Iraqi detainee.
2. Information:
a. On 20 Aug 03 whilnterrog mg aqi detai e at the Gunner Collection Point in northern Iraq, LTC inallege assau and threaten d the detainee if the detainee did not reveal information regardin alleged p o kill LTC and others. During the interrogation process, LTC alleged inted his pistol at and threatened to shoot the detainee. It is also alleged that LTC sequently took the detainee to a weapons clearing barrel, held the detainee's head inside the rel, and fired two shots from his pistol into the barrel next to the detainee's head. LTC and other soldiers at the scene also allegedly stuck the detainee. The incident was reported to CID on 19 Sep 03 and an investigation was initiated.
mimic MO-S. 7C6171:(C)-
Based on that investigation, charges were preferred against LTC ow on 6 Oct 03 for three specifications of assault (pointing the loaded pistol at the detainee, striking the detainee, and firing the pistol near the detainee's head) and communicating a threat (threatening to kill the detainee). An Article 32 investigation, required by the UCMJ in cases in which a commander is recommending a general court-martial, commenced on 18 Nov 03 and was completed on [or about] 19 Nov 03.

Following completion of the transcript of that hearing, the Article 32 investigating officer will submit his recommendation to the commander as to the disposition of the charges. The recommendation of the Investigating Officer has not yet been made. We are informed that it will not be made prior to Friday, 5 December. The investigating officer's recommendations may range from dismissing or disposing of the charges at a lower level (e.g., an Article 15) up to referring the charges to a general court-martial.

Four other soldiers allegedly involved in the incident (a SFC, a SSG, a SPC, and a PFC) received field grade Article 15s. SAtx-Iyo - s-

d. At the time of thi, ident, LTC UN was the comma f the 2-20 FA. Following the
incident, LTC chain of command administratively reassigned L to then. (1",,(3) -
e. On 3 Nov 03, LTC IIIIIIsubmitteda re nest to retire. Because LTC is currently
"flagged," action on that reque TC chain of command is pen ng a determination on the disposition of the court-martial c


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3. Way Ahead.
After the Article 32 officer makes his recommendations, LTC MIMI chain of command will make a determination as to the disposition of the charges. The chain of command is not bound by the recommendations of the Article 32 officer, but may take any action ranging from no action to referring the charges to a general court-martial. At any point in the process, LTC.. through his defense counsel, may propose an alternate disposition of the charges (e.g., pleading guilty at an Article 32 proceeding). Any such proposal would be submitted to the appropriate commander for consideration.

HQDA officials should avoid making any comment about these charges while they are proceeding through the UCMJ process. Any substantive comment on the charges at this juncture risks the possibility of the comment being perceived as an attempt to improperly influence the process (commonly referred to as unlawful command influence).

If queried about these charges, HQDA officials should respond to the effect, "the charges are currently being processed in accordance with the UCMJ by experienced, senior field commanders; accordingly it is inappropriate for me to comment on them at this time."

Staffers for heinHASC were informed at a 1300 meeting on 3 December of the current status of the LTC case, as well as the 320 th MP Cases by OCLL and OTJAG representatives.

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