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CIA contractor guilty of prisoner abuse

Published: 08/17/2006 1:47:50pm


Washington- A federal jury found a CIA contractor guilty
Thursday of abusing a prisoner in Afghanistan, making David Passaro
the first individual connected to the intelligence agency to be
convicted of mistreating detainees.
Jurors in Raleigh, North Carolina convicted Passaro on one count
of felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury, and three
misdemeanour counts of assault, the News & Observer newspaper

Passaro, 40, can receive up to 11 years in prison when he is to be
sentenced in about three months.

Prosecutors alleged that Passaro in June 2003 beat victim Abdul
Wali on two consecutive nights during interrogations with a 60-
centimetre-long flashlight and a heavy spotlight. Wali died on the
third day.

His defence attorneys argued that he was ordered to interrogate
Wali even though he had no training to do so, and was now being
scapegoated by the government for the Afghan man's death, the
newspaper reported.

Passaro is a former special forces soldier who joined a CIA
paramilitary team after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

© 2006 DPA - Deutsche Presse-Agenteur