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CENTCOM

NEWS RELEASE
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES CENTRAL COMMAND
7115 South Boundary Boulevard
MacDill AFB, Fla. 33621-5101
Phone: (813) 827-5894; FAX: (813) 827-2211; DSN 651-5894

May 19, 2004
Release Number: 04-05-45


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



UPDATE FROM COURT-MARTIAL OF SOLDIER

BAGHDAD, Iraq - Statement by Col. Jill Morganthaler, Multi-National Force-Iraq Public Affairs Officer:

"Today, on May 19, 2004, Specialist Jeremy Sivits pleaded guilty to the following charges: one count conspiracy to maltreat detainees, one count of dereliction and two counts of maltreatment of detainees. The Military Judge found Specialist Sivits guilty of the charges in accordance with his pleas and sentenced him to reduction to Private E-1, a Bad Conduct Discharge and one year of confinement.

Specialist Sivits will be transferred to a temporary military confinement facility for a short period of time. He will then be transferred to one of the military regional confinement facilities. Specialist Sivits remains eligible in future trials to be called as a witness by either the prosecution or the defense.

Charges against Specialist Sivits were filed on March 20, 2004 following an investigation by the Criminal Investigation Division. This investigation began on January 14, 2004 after a fellow soldier brought the matter to the attention of the Criminal Investigation Division.

Specialist Sivits' plea of guilty to the offenses charged was part of a pre-trial agreement with the Convening Authority, Lieutenant General Thomas Metz, Commanding General, Multi-National Corps Iraq and III Corps (U.S.), who ordered the court-martial. In exchange for Specialist Sivits' plea of guilty, Lt. Gen. Metz committed that he would order the case be tried as a Special Court-Martial. As part of the pre-trial agreement, Specialist Sivits agreed to testify truthfully, if called as a witness, in other cases.

Once a transcript of the proceedings is prepared and reviewed by the Military Judge for accuracy, Specialist Sivits' case will be forwarded to Lt. Gen. Metz, Commanding General, Multi-National Corps Iraq and III Corps (U.S.), who ordered the court-martial. Lt. Gen. Metz can approve the sentence adjudged, reduce the sentence, and even dismiss some or all of the charges. Lt. Gen. Metz cannot, however, increase the sentence of the court.

Following this review and action by Lt. Gen. Metz, because the approved sentence includes a bad conduct discharge, the case will be forwarded to Washington, D.C. for mandatory review by the United States Army Court of Criminal Appeals (which consists of senior military appellate judges) and the right to later petition the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces is the highest military appellate court and consists of five civilian judges appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. On the United States Supreme Court can review a case decided by The Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces."


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