Here is a CNN piece on United States v. Smith.
Dog handler appeals conviction in Abu Ghraib case.
He’s already served the time, but lawyers Thursday argued to clear his name as onetime U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Smith appeals a conviction for the torture of detainees once held at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Abu Ghraib prison was taken over by the Iraqi government after claims of abuse by U.S. troops.
Disturbing snapshots and video portraying sexual humiliation and physical intimidation against the detainees tarnished the image of the United States as it fought to stabilize Iraq after the American overthrow of Saddam Hussein.
A military panel found Smith guilty in March 2006 on allegations that he used his military working dog to illegally "terrorize and frighten" detainees as part of interrogation techniques at the U.S.-managed facility in Baghdad.
But his lawyer, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Jonathan Potter, told a military appeals court Thursday that the conviction was based on faulty instructions to the jury.
"Nowhere in this case did the government establish that the use of the dog was illegal," the defense counsel said, noting that Smith "was not trained in interrogation techniques."
The CAAF granted issues are:
Granted issues question (1) whether the military judge erred by failing to instruct on obedience to lawful orders as it pertained to maltreatment by having a military working dog (MWD) bark at a detainee when there was no evidence before the military judge that such an order was illegal; (2) whether the military judge erred when he did not instruct the panel on obedience to orders (lawful or unlawful) as it pertained to maltreatment by having a MWD bark at juvenile detainees; and (3) whether the evidence for all maltreatment specifications was legally insufficient, because the detainees were not “subject to [Appellant’s] orders” and did not have a “duty to obey.”
Here is a link to the oral argument.