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Military

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: 04-05-44


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



ARRAIGNMENT OF THREE SOLDIERS

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

"On May 19, 2004, Sergeant Javal Davis, Staff Sergeant Ivan Frederick, and Specialist Charles Graner were arraigned before Colonel James Pohl, a Military Judge, who is the Chief Circuit Judge, Fifth Judicial Circuit, Heidelberg, Germany.

Arraignment is the first time an accused is present at a formal court hearing. Arraignment can include the reading of the charges, which may be waived at the request of the accused. At arraignment, the Military Judge explains the accused's rights, including the right to counsel, and the right to select the forum for their trial. The forum, or choice of a trier of fact, means that an accused, in this case an enlisted soldier, has the right to select trial by a panel (jury) of officers, a panel of officers and enlisted soldiers (at least five of whom are officers and one-third are enlisted soldiers) or a trial by a military judge alone. The Military Judge explains that the soldier may be represented by a military attorney drawn from the Trial Defense Service, an independent branch of the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General's Corps, a civilian attorney who would be hired at the accused's own expense, or both.

Today, Sgt. Davis, Staff Sgt. Frederick and Spc. Graner selected to be represented by both a military defense attorney and a civilian attorney. None of the civilian attorneys were present. The Military Judge then asked each defense counsel if there were any motions. Each accused, through counsel, chose to defer motions. The Military Judge asked each of the accused to enter a plea. Each accused, as is his right, deferred making a plea. The Military Judge then asked each of the accused to decide which forum they would like to be tried under, and each of the accused, as is his right, deferred making an election.

The Military Judge explained that if the defendant is voluntarily absent during any future proceedings of the court-martial, the proceedings will occur regardless of his absence.

The Military Judge set June 21 for the pre-trial hearings which at that time motions, pleas, and a forum must be entered."

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