Army not releasing details in detainee deaths case
July 24, 2008
Documents providing additional details of the charges against four Germany-based soldiers implicated in the deaths of "several" detainees in Iraq in 2007 were not released as expected Wednesday, as military legal experts considered what information could be released to the public.
"We want to make sure that the proper process in the entire proceedings is done just right," said Lt. Col. Eric Bloom, a spokesman for the 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command, which Tuesday announced the charges against the soldiers.
"We don’t want to mess up the case, is basically what it gets down to," Bloom said.
Staff Sgt. Jess Cunningham, Sgt. Charles Quigley, Spc. Stephen Ribordy, and Spc. Belmor Ramos were charged Monday with conspiracy to commit premeditated murder under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, according to a news release issued Tuesday by 7th Army Joint Multinational Training Command.
The soldiers, all members of Company D, 1st Battalion, 2nd Infantry Regiment, 172nd Infantry Brigade, are not in confinement, according to Lt. Col. David Crawford, the Army’s regional defense counsel for Trial Defense Service, Europe.
The charges against the men stem from an incident that occurred in Baghdad in "April/May 2007" while the soldiers were serving in the 1st Battalion, 18th Infantry Regiment, part of the 1st Infantry Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team, according to the Tuesday press release. The 2nd BCT reflagged in March as the 172nd Infantry.
All the soldiers will be assigned military defense counsel, and will have the option of hiring civilian lawyers, Crawford said.
Capt. Samuel Gregory, who represents Quigley, would not comment about the case Wednesday. The names of attorneys representing the other soldiers have not been released.