The Army charged four soldiers with murder Monday, accusing them of suffocating an Iraqi general during an interrogation last fall.
Chief Warrant Officers Jefferson L. Williams and Lewis E. Welshofer Jr., Sgt. 1st Class William J. Sommer, and Spec. Jerry L. Loper could get life in prison without parole in the Nov. 26 death of Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush, 57, in Qaim, Iraq.
The Army said Mowhoush died of asphyxiation from chest compression and from being smothered. Welshofer was part of a two-person team that interrogated the general, according to the Army.
The Army gave no details on what the men are alleged to have done. But the Denver Post, citing unidentified military documents, reported earlier this year that Welshofer and Williams slid a sleeping bag over Mowhoush's head and rolled him from his back to his stomach while asking questions.
Mowhoush, a member of the Republican Guard's air defense branch, was captured in a raid in Qaim. A U.S. military spokeswoman said at the time that Mowhoush was believed to have been financing attacks on U.S. forces.
All four soldiers were assigned to the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, at the time of Mowhoush's death and have since returned to the United States. They remain on duty with their units and have not been jailed, officials said.
Their ages and home towns were not immediately available.
A decision on whether to court-martial the men will be made after an Article 32 hearing, which is similar to a preliminary hearing in civilian court.