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US soldier guilty of Afghan abuse

  Military Law  -   POSTED: 2007/01/31 02:08

A US soldier has been found guilty by a court martial in Kabul of assaulting prisoners in an American military base in Afghanistan's Uruzgan province.

Sgt Kevin D Myricks was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to maltreat and two counts of maltreatment, a US military statement said.

Myricks has been reduced in rank and sentenced to six months' detention.

On Saturday, another soldier, James Hayes, was sent to four months in prison for the same incident of abuse.

Human rights groups have often accused US forces of abusing Afghans held at detention centres in the country.

The US military says the detainees did not require medical attention as a result of the assault last July.

Myricks has been demoted to the rank of a private and he is being held in custody at Bagram airfield, the US led-coalition's headquarters in Afghanistan.

He will be transferred to Kuwait soon to serve his six-month sentence.

"The court martial and subsequent punishment in this case reflects the seriousness with which this command views this incident," Maj Gen Jason Kamiya, the coalition's operational commander, said in a statement.

"Incidents of this nature are not reflective of the standards adhered to by this command. We are fully committed to investigating all allegations... and will hold accountable those who are found to have acted inappropriately."

Myricks was assigned to Company C, 96th Engineer Battalion, when the incident took place last July.


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