U.S. Officer Convicted in Death of Iraqi General

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A military jury convicts an Army interrogator of negligent homicide for the death of an Iraqi general. The November 2003 incident took place at a U.S. detention camp in Iraq, where prosecutors say the general died after being abused in a brutal interrogation.

But attorneys for Army Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer say the soldier is himself a victim of mixed signals sent by U.S. commanders in Iraq over the treatment and interrogation of detainees.

The government says Welshofer suffocated Iraqi General Abed Mowhoush by pulling a sleeping bag over Mowhoush's head, tying it with electrical cord, then sitting on him and periodically placing a hand over his mouth.

Defense attorney Frank Spinner claimed that Mowhoush wasn't murdered, but died accidentally of a heart attack — the result of an enlarged heart, and the cumulative stress of his 16 days of captivity.

In its decision, the jury in Fort Carson, Colo., threw out the more serious charge of murder. Welshofer's punishment will be announced Monday.



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