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Abu Ghraib prison abuse case moved

The court-martial of Pfc. Lynndie England, who was pictured gesturing with naked Iraqi prisoners, will be moved from Fort Bragg, N.C., to Fort Hood, Texas, the Army said Friday.
/ Source: The Associated Press

The case against Pfc. Lynndie England, charged with abusing Iraqi detainees at Baghdad’s Abu Ghraib prison, is being moved to Fort Hood, Texas, the Army said Friday.

England has been stationed at this North Carolina post since returning from Iraq last spring, and that is where military court hearings in her case have been held.

The move to Texas is being made to bring together several cases stemming from the prisoner abuse scandal, including those of England, Spc. Charles Graner, Sgt. Javal Davis, and Spc. Sabrina Harman, the Army said in a statement.

“Consolidating the cases at Fort Hood will conserve resources and ease logistical constraints for witnesses,” the statement said.

England had been scheduled for a Jan. 18 court-martial that was ordered by Bragg’s commanding officer, Lt. Gen. John Vines. It was not immediately clear how the transfer of her case might affect that schedule.

Col. Bill Buckner, a Fort Bragg spokesman, said Friday that it will now be up to the commanding officer at Fort Hood, Lt. Gen. Tom Metz, whether to proceed with the planned court-martial of England or to take other disciplinary action.

Last week, a military judge ruled that England’s statements that she was “joking around” when she posed for photos with naked Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib will be allowed at her court-martial.

England, 22, faces 19 charges of abuse and indecent acts. She could get 38 years if convicted.

England gave birth in October to a son; attorneys have said Graner is the father.

Of the seven members of her unit charged in the scandal, three have pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from demotion to eight years in prison.

Graner’s court-martial is scheduled for Jan. 7 at Fort Hood.