Army investigators continue to sift through photographs and evidence of alleged abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison to try to identify more soldiers who were involved, possibly including members of military intelligence, and sources close to the investigation said more soldiers would likely be charged.
Investigators are looking closely at the actions of three Army junior reservists with the 325th Military Intelligence Battalion -- Spec. Roman Krol, Spec. Israel Rivera and Spec. Armin J. Cruz, the sources said. All seven soldiers charged to date were members of a military police unit.
Investigators have identified the three military intelligence soldiers in a photograph taken in late October in a hallway in a cellblock on Tier 1 at the prison, where most of the abuse is alleged to have occurred, according to the sources. The picture shows three shackled detainees naked and splayed on the floor, while a military police officer leans over them and the three intelligence soldiers and others stand nearby.
Both Krol and Rivera have acknowledged that they are shown in the photo. Rivera testified to that effect on Thursday at an investigative hearing for Spec. Sabrina Harman, one of the seven soldiers from the 372nd Military Police Company charged with abuse, and Krol told The Washington Post last month that he was one of the soldiers in the photograph.
Cruz declined to testify on Thursday, citing his right to avoid self-incrimination.
Harman's court session, known as an Article 32 hearing, concluded on Friday after her defense attorney, Frank Spinner, admonished the Army for assigning her to the prison in the first place. The unit's company commander testified a day earlier that the soldiers were poorly trained for their mission and were overwhelmed by the prison population, which outnumbered them 100 to 1.
"The government prosecution seems to believe that Specialist Harman, who sells, makes and delivers pizza for a living, is supposed to come in and challenge" her superiors, he said. Harman "was caught in a very difficult situation as a junior soldier. . . . I don't think this young woman should ever have been put in that environment. I think the Army set her up. I think the Army should take the blame."
Lawyers for the accused soldiers have said their clients were being made scapegoats for their commanders. No senior officers have been charged with abuse.
But an Army prosecutor said on Friday that Harman should be prosecuted. "We've shown ample evidence that these charges warrant a general court-martial," Maj. Michael Holley said during closing remarks. "There should be no question in your mind."
Harman, 26, an assistant pizza shop manager from Alexandria, is accused of conspiring with the other soldiers to abuse detainees, unlawfully striking several by jumping on them, posing in a photograph with a corpse, writing "rapeist" on the leg of a detainee and putting wires on the hands of a detainee while he stood on a rations box. According to documents outlining the charges against her, Harman told the detainee on the box that he would be electrocuted if he fell off.
Spinner said Harman was not the one who hooked up the wires and threatened the detainee. He pulled out a witness statement from a detainee named Abdou Hussain Saad Faleh. In it, Faleh told investigators that "a tall black soldier came and put electrical wires on my fingers and toes and on my penis." He said the soldier was saying, "Which switch is on for electricity?"
Spinner said the defense wanted to call Faleh as a witness but was told he could not be found. Spinner said, "We saw him at Abu Ghraib on Tuesday."
Harman was "trapped in a situation she couldn't get out of," Spinner told the Article 32 investigative officer, Maj. Gary "Scott" Carlson. He compared her situation to that of Spec. Matthew Wisdom, who testified on Thursday that he reported what he had seen the night of Nov. 8 and then asked to be transferred from the prison. His team leader, Sgt. Robert Jones, followed up on his behalf and had Wisdom reassigned.
"He reported it and what did they do?" Spinner asked. "They reassigned him out of the unit. He reports it and instead of opening an investigation, they just took him out of the situation."
During the hearing in a small courtroom at Camp Victory, an Army base near Baghdad International Airport, Harman sat between Spinner and her military defense lawyer, Capt. Patsy Takemura. She took notes as two witnesses testified on Friday at the conclusion of her hearing.
Carlson has the authority to recommend that her case be referred to a court-martial.
Earlier this week, a U.S. Army judge accepted a request by attorneys for three of the soldiers to question the top commanders in Iraq and their subordinates. The judge issued the rulings at pretrial hearings for Sgt. Javal S. Davis, Cpl. Charles A. Graner Jr. and Staff Sgt. Ivan L. "Chip" Frederick.
Spec. Jeremy C. Sivits, the first soldier to face a court-martial in connection with Abu Ghraib, pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced to a year in prison.
Speaking after the hearing on Friday, Spinner said he had "no doubt that Iraqi detainees have been physically abused on a wide scale that would be beyond the military's ability ever to prosecute."
"The chain of command, they know it, too, and the problem is that people won't step up and admit it," he said. "To do it now would only subject them to prosecution. There's no question our Marines and soldiers were put into impossible circumstances, and they were doing the best they could. . . . I think the prosecution of these cases is just gut reaction to public opinion and pressure."