Army private cleared of Afghan abuse charges

Posted by: admin On: June 1st, 2006

Court-martial panel acquits Corsetti of mistreating prisoners in Afghanistan
Associated Press

FORT BLISS, Texas - An Army private was acquitted Thursday of charges that he abused inmates at a U.S. detention facility in Afghanistan. Pfc. Damien M. Corsetti was the last soldier charged in the Army's investigations of prisoner abuse in Afghanistan. He cried with relief when the court-martial panel cleared him of charges of assault, maltreatment, dereliction of duty, using hashish and drinking on duty. The panel deliberated about 30 minutes.

Corsetti was accused of mistreating detainees at an American jail at Bagram Air Field in 2002 and 2003. Army prosecutors said he hit, kicked, sat on and threatened to sexually assault the men.

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William E. Cassara, Corsetti's civilian lawyer, argued that rules at the jail were unclear and that al-Darbi was a hardened terrorist who has been trained to lie about abuses by U.S. soldiers. He also argued that charges of Corsetti abusing al-Farouq were baseless since investigators have never spoken to the accused terrorist.

Click Here to listen to Mr. Cassara's Closing Argument.

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