- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 15, 2005

FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The second soldier to go on trial in the Abu Ghraib scandal never participated in the prisoner abuse she’s accused of, a prosecution witness testified.

Pvt. Ivan Frederick II, who has pleaded guilty in the case, testified Friday that he — not Spc. Sabrina Harman — handed wires to a hooded Iraqi prisoner forced to stand on a box for an hour in 2003.

A former soldier, however, testified that he saw Spc. Harman, 27, humiliate prisoners by helping to handcuff them in an embrace.

The two were among the 10 witnesses for the prosecution, which rested its case Friday. The defense is scheduled to open its case tomorrow. Spc. Harman could get up to 6 years in prison if convicted.

Pvt. Frederick, who is serving an eight-year prison sentence, said he took a widely seen photograph of Spc. Harman and Pvt. Charles Graner Jr. with a pyramid of naked prisoners. Pvt. Graner, convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison, is expected to testify for the defense.

Pvt. Frederick said he did not see Spc. Harman around when guards forced a group of prisoners to masturbate and simulate other sexual acts — a scene she is accused of photographing.

Armin Cruz, who has finished serving his sentence for Abu Ghraib abuses and is now out of the Army, testified he saw Spc. Harman join Pvt. Graner and Pvt. Frederick in mistreating prisoners in late October 2003.

Mr. Cruz said three prisoners suspected of raping a teenage male prisoner were stripped and forced to roll around on a cold concrete floor. Cruz said Spc. Harman motioned to the men to roll and to crawl low to the floor, and that she helped handcuff them together in an embrace.

Mr. Cruz, then a soldier in a military intelligence unit working at Abu Ghraib, said Spc. Harman told him guards were allowed to do what they needed to keep “order and justice” inside the prison.

Defense lawyer Frank Spinner said in opening statements Thursday that the photos of the hooded prisoner, known as “Gilligan,” illustrated “a joking type of thing.” But prosecutor Capt. Chuck Neill said in his opening that the prisoner “was trembling, shaking, afraid he was going to be electrocuted.”

Spc. Harman, a reservist from Lorton, who once managed a pizza shop, is depicted in several of the prison’s most notorious abuse photos. Besides the pyramid image, she is shown with a prisoner on whose leg she is accused of writing “rapeist.”

Pvt. Frederick, who with Spc. Harman served with the Maryland-based 372nd Military Police Company, testified it was not common practice to write a prisoner’s purported crime on his body — a claim that contradicted what Mr. Spinner suggested Thursday.

Mr. Spinner also had said Spc. Harman had been taking photographs to document wrongdoing. The prosecutor disagreed.

Sentences for the Abu Ghraib guards who struck plea bargains ranged from no time behind bars to eight years. Pfc. Lynndie England, the most recognizable Abu Ghraib defendant, also made a deal with prosecutors, but it was thrown out by a judge last week.

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