SAN DIEGO (AP) – Two Navy SEALs will face court-martial proceedings for allegedly assaulting a detainee who died at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, the Navy said Wednesday.

The two commandos from a Coronado-based Sea, Air, Land unit known as SEAL Team-7 also are accused of posing in photographs taken while the detainee was subjected to degrading treatment, according to court documents.

Neither of the two SEALs is charged with killing the prisoner.

Article 32 hearings, the military equivalent of a civilian grand jury, are set for Thursday and Friday at Naval Base San Diego for the two enlisted SEALs. The charges against them include aggravated assault, maltreatment, dereliction of duty and disobeying orders.

The Navy withheld the names of the two and identified them only as an aviation boatswain’s mate and a hospital corpsman first class.

The boatswain’s mate allegedly kicked, punched and kneed prisoners in Iraq.

He also twisted prisoners’ testicles and struck a prisoner in the buttocks with a wooden board, according to the charge sheets.

The boatswain’s mate is accused of punching Manadel al-Jamadi, a suspect in an attack on a Red Cross facility, in the stomach and back, and encouraging another sailor to join in.

The following day – Nov. 4, 2003 – Al-Jamadi was found dead in a shower at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad. A military pathologist ruled that al-Jamadi died of blunt force trauma to the head.

The hospital corpsman is accused of punching, kicking and breaking fingers of prisoners. The corpsman also is accused of pointing a loaded firearm at al-Jamadi’s head.

The alleged abuses occurred between October 2003 and April, according to the charge sheets.

Five other SEALs were implicated. Their cases have not been scheduled for Article 32 hearings, said Cmdr. Jeff Bender, a spokesman for Naval Special Warfare Command.

Defense attorneys for two of the accused said the charges were initiated by a disgraced former member of the unit who was trying to save his own career.


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