Specialist Jeremy Sivits, a member of the 372nd Military Police Company, a reserve unit, faces three charges in the court-martial, including the maltreatment of detainees at the prison, conspiracy to maltreat detainees and negligently failing to protect detainees from abuse and cruelty, the Army statement said.
If convicted of all charges, Specialist Sivits could face a combination of penalties including as much as a year in prison, reduction in rank to private, forfeiture of two-thirds of his pay for a year, a fine and a bad conduct discharge, military officials said.
The court-martial will begin on May 19 in Baghdad and will be open to the media, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, an American military spokesman, said today. “We try to make these types of proceedings as transparent as possible,” he said. “It is not our intention to hide anything.”
Specialist Sivits is from Hyndman, Pa., and is thought by military officials to have taken many of the widely published photographs that depict prisoners being abused and humiliated at Abu Ghraib prison. According to his father, Daniel, Specialist Sivits was trained as a truck mechanic, not as a prison guard, The Associated Press reported.
The photographs are the most graphic evidence that has been publicly released from the investigation into accusations that members of several Army units, including the 372nd Military Police Company, systematically mistreated Iraqi detainees in the prison. The scandal has embarrassed the Bush administration and impaired its goals to establish democratic reform in Iraq and the Islamic world; stoked anti-American anger in the Arab world and provoked calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.