Fri, Jan 20, 2006 - Page 6 News List

US officer claimed interrogation rules broken daily


An Army officer charged with killing an Iraqi general during an interrogation suggested guidelines for questioning detainees were being broken "every day" in Iraq, a secret witness testified at the officer's court-martial.

The witness, who testified late on Wednesday from behind a screen to cloak his identity, said he spoke with Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Jr. on Nov. 25, 2003, the day before Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush's death at an Iraqi detention camp.

The witness said he asked Welshofer if he was aware of a memorandum from Welshofer's commanding general that required authorization for the use of certain interrogation techniques.

"He said he was aware of them, but said he was pretty sure they were breaking those rules every day," said the witness.

The dramatic testimony was opened to the public at the request of the media, though the judge did allow another witness to testify behind closed doors. Two witnesses also testified in secret on Tuesday.

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