Court Martial To Begin

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A court-martial is scheduled to begin today at Fort Carson for an Army officer accused in the grisly suffocation death of an Iraqi general.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer (WELL'-show-fur) Junior is charged with murder in the 2003 death of Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush.

Prosecution documents say Mowhoush had been placed headfirst in a sleeping bag and bound during interrogation, and that he died with one officer sitting on him. The documents say an electrical cord also may have been involved but don't say how.

There is speculation that Welshofer's lawyer will argue that Mowhoush already was weakened by a severe beating at the hands of a group linked to the C-I-A.

Welshofer's attorney, Frank Spinner, wouldn't discuss what he said were classified matters involving Welshofer's defense.


In 2004, the C-I-A said one if its officers may have been involved in Mowhoush's death. Last August, the Washington Post reported that documents it examined said Mowhoush had been severely beaten by a paramilitary Iraqi group sponsored by the C-I-A two days before he was suffocated.

A C-I-A spokeswoman refused to comment last week.

In his only public comment, Welshofer told the Denver Post in May 2004 he had done nothing wrong while serving in Iraq.