Court martial to begin in Abu Ghraib abuse case

Opening statements were set for Tuesday in the court martial of the only US officer charged with abusing prisoners in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison. A military judge on Monday dismissed two of the most serious charges against Army Lt. Col. Steven L. Jordan, 51, a reservist, after a general who investigated the scandal acknowledged he had not read Jordan his rights before interviewing him. The action left Jordan still facing four counts and a possible 8 1/2 years in prison. Prosecutors on Monday amended one of those remaining counts, a cruelty and maltreatment charge, by narrowing its scope from three months to one day. Jordan, who has pleaded innocent, is the last of 12 Abu Ghraib defendants to be court-martialed.