U.S. officer reprimanded, fined $8,000 in Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses

Colonel of intelligence unit cited for dereliction of duty


WASHINGTON - The officer in charge of interrogations at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, where prisoners were abused and humiliated, has been cited for two counts of dereliction of duty, received a formal reprimand and an $8,000 fine, Army officials said yesterday.

But officials said no decision had been made whether to relieve Col. Thomas M. Pappas of command as head of the 205th Military Intelligence Brigade, a move that would all but end his 24-year military career.

The administrative penalties, which resulted from a disciplinary proceeding, mark the first time an Army supervisor directly assigned to Abu Ghraib has been formally punished.

Others at his rank and below are still being investigated, and it remains to be seen whether more in the Army chain of command will be made accountable beyond the half-dozen low-level sergeants and privates who have been convicted in criminal courts-martial since the abuses became public a year ago.

In citing him for dereliction of duty, authorities said Pappas had failed to ensure that interrogators were adequately trained and supervised. He also did not obtain approval to carry out nonsanctioned interrogation techniques, such as using dogs to frighten prisoners into talking, Army officials said.

Pappas, 46, who has been reassigned to duties in Europe, has never spoken publicly about the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

Meanwhile the Associated Press reported yesterday that a military judge rejected defense attempts to keep some of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse photos from a jury in the scandal's second trial.

Col. James Pohl, in a pretrial hearing for Spc. Sabrina Harman, gave prosecutors the go-ahead to show jurors 29 of the photos that prompted condemnation around the globe of U.S. treatment of detainees.

He also denied a defense request that detainees not be referred to as "victims" because it might prejudice the jury against Harman, and denied a defense request to present a statement allegedly made by an Iraqi detainee pictured in one of the photos because he could not be located and cross-examined.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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