Arraignments started Wednesday for three American troops charged with abusing prisoners at Abu Ghraib, and all three deferred entering pleas.
The judge, Col. James Pohl, set a new hearing in the cases for June 21, The AP.
Sgt. Javal Davis, 26, of Maryland, Spc. Charles Graner Jr., of Uniontown, Pa., and Staff Sgt. Ivan L. Frederick of Buckingham, Va., appeared in the courtroom at the Baghdad Convention Center, located in the heavily guarded Green Zone.
All three waived their right to have the charges read in court.
Davis' lawyer, Capt. Scott Dunn, argued he had been denied access to two victims of abuse who were government witnesses. Judge Pohl asked prosecutor John McCabe for "legal reasons for why access is being denied."
Graner is charged with conspiracy to maltreat prisoners, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees, assaulting detainees, indecent acts, adultery and obstruction of justice.
Frederick is charged with conspiracy to maltreat detainees, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of detainees and committing an indecent act. Davis is charged with conspiracy to maltreat detainees, dereliction of duty, maltreatment of prisoners and falsifying statements to investigators.
The arraignments were held ahead of the trial of Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits, the first soldier to go before a court martial in the case. Sivits faces three lesser charges of misconduct.
Meanwhile, US occupation forces and followers of Iraqi Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr have clashed in Karbala, leaving four Iraqis dead and nine wounded.
Hospital sources reported the latest casualties following clashes early on Wednesday.
The fighting came as US tanks advanced near the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala, where occupation forces were facing fierce battles with al-Sadr's al-Mahdi army. (Albawaba.com)
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