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US intelligence soldier pleads guilty in Iraq abuse
Updated: 2004-09-11 16:32

The first US military intelligence soldier to be charged in connection with the Abu Ghraib prison abuse scandal on Saturday pleaded guilty to two charges brought against him at a court martial in Baghdad, courtroom witnesses said.

U.S. Army Spc. Armin J. Cruz is seen here with his sister Jennifer, only one name available, in Texas, USA, in this photograph taken in January 2004, and made available Cruz's defense attorney on Saturday Sept. 11, 2004. [AP]
Specialist Armin J. Cruz, from the 502nd Military Intelligence battalion, pleaded guilty to the charges of conspiracy and mistreatment of Iraqi detainees, according to the witnesses.

The 24-year-old, from Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty soon after the court martial hearing opened around 9 AM.

Photograph taken in October 2003 shows Cruz and two other intelligence soldiers standing in the background as three prisoners are abused by military police in the foreground.

Cruz was accused of ordering soldiers to mistreat Iraqi detainees, conspiring with military police to cover up the abuse and mistreating subordinates as he carried out the cover-up, the US military's charge sheet read.

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