State News

Appeals court upholds Passaro's prisoner abuse conviction

Posted August 10, 2009 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated August 10, 2009 5:26 p.m. EDT

— A federal appeals court in Virginia has upheld the conviction of the first American civilian found guilty of mistreating a detainee during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected David Passaro's argument that federal courts had no jurisdiction over assaults at a remote military base in Afghanistan.

Passaro, a CIA civilian contractor who lived in Lillington, was convicted in August 2006 of hitting detainee Abdul Wali with a flashlight and kicking him in the groin. Wali died.

A federal judge in North Carolina sentenced Passaro to more than eight years in prison.

The appeals court ordered a new sentencing, saying the judge failed to explain his reason for giving Passaro a longer term than federal sentencing guidelines suggested.