BAGHDAD, Iraq — Spc. Jeremy C. Sivits wept and apologized after receiving the maximum penalty of a year in prison and a bad conduct discharge Wednesday in the first court-martial stemming from abuse of Iraqis at the Abu Ghraib prison.
Sivits pleaded guilty to four counts for taking pictures of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated, including some of the photographs that triggered the abuse scandal and sparked international outrage when they were broadcast and published last month.
“I’d like to apologize to the Iraqi people and those detainees,” Sivits said, breaking into tears. “I should have protected those detainees, not taken the photos.”
His hearing marked the start of American efforts to investigate who was responsible for the abuse and punish the guilty, a process expected to stretch to the highest levels of the military.