RALEIGH, N.C. – A member of Pfc. Lynndie England's (search) defense team said Friday that the Army will soon announce it will court-martial the reservist, one of the most recognizable figures in the abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib (search) prison in Baghdad.
The announcement will be made Monday, said attorney Rhidian Orr, a spokesman for England's defense team in Colorado. He did not say what charges the 21-year-old personnel clerk will face, but said the military trial may be held in January.
A hearing officer recommended this month that England be court-martialed on 17 counts of abuse and indecent acts, but the decision rests with Lt. Gen. John Vines, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, where England has been assigned while her case is pending.
Vines' decision is scheduled to be released Monday, said post spokesman Col. Billy Buckner, who wouldn't disclose the order.
England is one of seven members of her company charged in connection with abuse that occurred at Abu Ghraib prison late last year. Photographs of England posing with nude men stacked in a pyramid and holding a naked detainee by a leash made England a focal point of the scandal.
Orr said in a telephone interview that although the court-martial wasn't a surprise, "Lynndie's case is a heck of a lot stronger than it used to be."
Hearing officer Col. Denise Arn suggested in her report that England, a reservist with the 372nd Military Police Company of Cresaptown, Md., was largely led astray by some of the other reservists charged in the case, particularly Spc. Charles Graner Jr.
Attorneys say Graner is the father of the child England expects to deliver in October.
England's attorneys argued in the hearing that she posed for the pictures on orders from higher-ups to "soften up" Iraqi prisoners. Her lawyers sought unsuccessfully to call such high-level witnesses as Vice President Dick Cheney (search) and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Military prosecutors portray the abuse as the work of a renegade band of reservists.