- The Washington Times - Monday, November 1, 2004

SAN DIEGO (AP) — The CIA interrogated and roughed up Iraqi prisoners in a “romper room” where a handcuffed and hooded terror suspect was kicked, slapped and punched shortly before he died last year at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, a Navy SEAL testified yesterday.

Blood was visible on the hood worn by the prisoner, Manadel al-Jamadi, as he was led into the interrogation room at Baghdad International Airport last November, the Navy commando said at a military pretrial hearing for another SEAL accused of abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Testifying under a grant of immunity, the witness, identified only by his rank as a hospital corpsman, said he kicked al-Jamadi several times, slapped him in the back of the head and punched him. Five or six other CIA personnel in the room laid hands on the prisoner, he said, but he did not provide details.

Sometime later, al-Jamadi was found dead in a shower room at Abu Ghraib less than an hour after two CIA personnel brought him there as a “ghost detainee,” according to Army Maj. Gen. George R. Fay’s report on the notorious prison. Such detainees were not listed in the normal roster of military prisoners.

The testimony about the CIA’s role came during a hearing for an aviation boatswain’s mate who is accused of punching al-Jamadi, posing in humiliating photos with the prisoner, and abusing other prisoners.

An Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a civilian grand jury, was held to determine whether the boatswain’s mate should be court-martialed.

The hearing concluded yesterday. An investigating officer will recommend what charges, if any, the boatswain’s mate should face.

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