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American Forces Press Service

Detainee Abuse Charges in Afghanistan Referred to Court-Martial

American Forces Press Service

BAGRAM AIR BASE, Afghanistan, Nov. 17, 2005 Charges of detainee abuse against two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan were referred to a court-martial today after their commander reviewed the investigating officer's report and considered his recommendations, Combined Forces Command Afghanistan officials reported.

Army Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, Combined Joint Task Force 76 commanding general, referred charges against Army Sgt. Kevin D. Myricks and Army Spc. James R. Hayes after the Article 32 investigation into accusations that they had mistreated prisoners. Named for the Uniform Code of Military Justice article that sets forth the procedure, an Article 32 investigation is the equivalent of a civilian grand jury proceeding, officials said.

Both soldiers face multiple charges and specifications, including conspiracy to maltreat, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees and assault consummated by battery. Myricks faces more charges of making a false official statement and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces.

The charges stem from an incident at Forward Operating Base Ripley in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province, in which both soldiers are accused of striking two detainees in their custody.

No date for the court-martial has yet been set. The court-martial will be held here, under CJTF 76's command.

A third soldier faced nonjudicial punishment for allegedly having knowledge of the abuse and not reporting it through the unit's chain of command. This soldier, whose name is being withheld because administrative actions are not a matter of public record, could face reduction in rank, forfeiture of pay, restriction and extra duty if found guilty under UCMJ.

(From a Combined Forces Command Afghanistan news release.)

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