A special court martial Wednesday sentenced Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits to a maximum penalty of one year in prison, reduction in rank and a bad conduct discharge for his role in the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse case. Sivits apologized to the Iraqi people.
"I'd like to apologize to the Iraqi people and those detainees," Sivits said. "I should have protected those detainees, not taken the photos."
"I have learned huge lessons, sir," he added. "You can't let people abuse people like they have done."
His lawyer, 1st L. Stanley Martin, had appealed to the judge, Col. James Pohl, to be lenient, saying Sivits could be rehabilitated and had made a contribution to society in the past.
Sivits, who pleaded guilty to three abuse charges, took pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated at Abu Ghraib prison.
He told the court he saw one American soldier punch one Iraqi detainee in the head and other guards stomp on the hands and feet of Iraqi prisoners. He also recounted that prisoners were stripped and forced to form a human pyramid.
"I wanted to help the people of Iraq," Sivits said, according to The AP. "You've got to stand up for what's right. I'm truly sorry for what I've done." (Albawaba.com)
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