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Iraqi Torture Victim's Body Parts Found

Anonymous Comrade writes: After the autopsy following his death at the hands of Marine prison guards, Nagem Hatab's removed organs were left to rot in the blazing sun at an Iraqi airstrip. His larynx was recently found in a freezer in Germany, and his ribcage has likely been located in a refrigerator at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C.

The A.P. reports:

Evidence Found From Iraqi Killed in Prison

Missing medical evidence taken from the body of an Iraqi man beaten by Marine prison guards resurfaced this week, a defense attorney for an officer charged in connection with the man's death said Thursday. For months, the military had insisted the evidence was lost.

An Army medical examiner found the larynx of Nagem Hatab in a freezer in Germany, said Keith Higgins, a civilian defense attorney. The examiner, Col. Kathleen Ingwersen, conducted Hatab's autopsy in Iraq and concluded he died from a broken bone in his neck.

Higgins represents Marine Maj. Clarke Paulus, who ran the jail at the prison camp and is accused of ordering one of his men to drag Hatab by his neck after the Iraqi suffered a severe bout of diarrhea and collapsed while in custody.

Paulus, 35, faces up to 4 1/2 years in prison if convicted of aggravated assault, dereliction of duty and maltreatment of prisoners. Court-martial is scheduled to begin in November at Camp Pendleton, the Marine base north of San Diego.

Last week, a military judge delayed the start of the court-martial because of the missing evidence and ordered prosecutors to redouble their efforts to find the items. The judge, Col. Robert Chester, threatened "some extreme measures" to correct what he viewed as serious problems interfering the case.

Higgins said it was "disheartening and extremely troubling" that military doctors would act so carelessly with evidence that he deemed crucial to clearing his client's name.

Higgins also said an Army criminal investigator found a rib cage that may belong to Hatab in a refrigerator at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C. Ingwersen's autopsy found that Hatab had six broken ribs. Results from a DNA test to determine whether the ribs were from Hatab's body are expected Friday, Higgins said.

Christopher Kelly, a spokesman for the institute, said he was unaware of the specifics of the case and could not comment.

Marine guards have testified Hatab was targeted for rough treatment because they believed he had a role in the ambush of a U.S. Army convoy that killed 11 soldiers and led to the capture of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and others.

The missing bones are just one of several errors in the investigation that became known at a hearing last week. Hatab's organs, removed during the autopsy, were destroyed when they were left for hours in the blazing heat on an Iraqi airstrip.

Marine Sgt. Gary Pittman was convicted earlier this month of dereliction of duty and abuse of prisoners at the prison camp, but was cleared of assaulting Hatab. Pittman was sentenced to 60 days of hard labor and demoted to private.