Fort Carson Hearing

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The Army Court of Appeals shut down a key hearing for three soldiers charged with killing an Iraqi general during an interrogation.

On Friday, the court ordered the military to explain why some proceedings couldn't be opened to the public. The court also granted an emergency stay sought by The Denver Post on the second day of the hearing at Fort Carson.

It gave the hearing officer, Captain Robert Ayers, 10 days to show why non-classified portions of the hearing should not be open. He had ordered the hearing closed to the public on grounds of national security.

A military hearing is scheduled today for three of the four U-S soldiers accused of smothering an Iraqi general during an interrogation last fall.

The Article 32 hearing is to determine whether the three soldiers will face a court-martial.

Chief Warrant Officer Jefferson Williams, Sergeant 1st Class William Sommer and Specialist Jerry Loper are charged with murder and dereliction of duty.

The soldiers could get life in prison without parole if convicted in the death last year of Major General Abed Hamed Mowhoush at Qaim, Iraq. The Army said Mowhoush died of asphyxiation from chest compression and from being smothered.

Chief Warrant Officer Lewis Welshofer Junior will get a hearing at a later date.

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