The highest-ranking U.S. soldier accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners has reached a deal to plead guilty to some charges at his court martial in Baghdad in October, one of his lawyers said on Tuesday.

“He has, unlike many, accepted responsibility for corrupt behavior generated by the circumstances that existed in Abu Ghraib,” Gary Myers told reporters beside Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick after a pre-trial hearing in Germany.

“There have been deals over charges and the sentence,” he said as the silent Frederick, 37, held his wife’s hand.

Myers declined to give details but said Frederick, a suspected abuse ringleader, hoped others would acknowledge their role in the scandal.

Photographs of smiling American soldiers tormenting naked detainees rocked the U.S. military when they emerged in April, prompting claims that policies adopted in President Bush’s “war on terror” had encouraged the cruelty.

Military prosecutors said on Tuesday they would lay charges against two military intelligence specialists and were considering charges, notably dereliction of duty, against more senior officers.

However, judge James Pohl dismissed the motion brought by another defendant on Tuesday to force Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to testify.

Defense lawyers for four accused who appeared at the hearings in Germany — Frederick, Sergeant Javal Davis and Specialists Charles Graner and Megan Ambuhl — say their clients were following orders to break inmates for interrogation.

U.S. officials say the accused were wayward individuals and their actions isolated ones.

However, Myers and other defense lawyers say the guilt stretches far higher. One of Davis’s lawyers, Paul Bergrin, referred to memos which showed Rumsfeld had approved hooding and stripping of prisoners, who could also be put in stress positions and subjected to “physical conduct.”

“As insurgencies increased, the need for actionable intelligence increased. These techniques were approved by Donald Rumsfeld,” Bergrin said.

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