Los Angeles Times

Commander Will Wait for Iraq Probe Outcome

The commander of two intelligence officers says he will wait for the outcome of an investigation before deciding whether to charge them in the suffocation death of an Iraqi general last fall.

In a written statement, Maj. Gen. Robert Wilson said he is responsible for military justice at Fort Carson, where the men are based, and he will not make a decision until he sees the evidence.

"No competent authority has signed a charge sheet because the investigation has not been completed or received by this Headquarters," Wilson said.

The Denver Post reported the military plans to charge Chief Warrant Officers Lewis Welshofer and Jeff Williams in the death of Maj. Gen. Abed Hamed Mowhoush during an interrogation. The military has said Mowhoush died from asphyxiation due to smothering and chest compression.

According to Pentagon documents cited by the newspaper, Welshofer placed the general in a sleeping bag, sat on his chest and covered the general's mouth.

The CIA said one of its agents may have been involved and referred the case to the Justice Department for investigation.

Wilson also said he "is not bound by decisions of subordinate commanders regarding criminal allegations."

The Post reported Welshofer and Williams were reprimanded by their immediate commander, Col. David Teeples of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, and forbidden from conducting further interrogations.

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