Other items: Missing aid worker honored as martyr; and official blames rebels for shortages in fuel.
FORT WORTH, Texas The criminal case against Army Pfc. Lynndie England, the woman in some of the most notorious photos from Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, is being transferred to Fort Hood, Texas, from Fort Bragg, N.C.
England, 22, of West Virginia, is one of four soldiers in the Army Reserve’s 372nd Military Police Company accused of abusing and humiliating Iraqi prisoners in late 2003. All four now face trial at the Texas base.
Spc. Charles Graner, England’s one-time lover, will go on trial Jan. 7. Sgt. Javal Davis and Spc. Sabrina Harman will go on trial in February and March, respectively.
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Lt. Gen. Thomas Metz, the III Corps commander, is in charge of the cases against Graner, Davis and Harman. Lt. Gen. John Vines, the Fort Bragg commander, asked Metz to assume control of England’s case because the witness lists and facts in all four cases are similar.
Missing aid worker honored as martyr
LONDON Family and friends gathered at Westminster Cathedral yesterday to remember Margaret Hassan, a respected aid worker abducted and believed to have been murdered in Iraq.
Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, leader of Britain’s 5 million Roman Catholics, celebrated the requiem Mass for a “gentle, private, brave, loving and compassionate” woman he called a martyr.
“I use the word advisedly, because the word martyr means witness,” he said. “Margaret witnessed, in both her life and her death, to the act of loving.”
A portrait of Hassan, who was kidnapped in October and whose body has not been found, was placed by the altar instead of a coffin. More than 2,000 mourners joined in hymns and prayers for Irish-born Hassan, who also held British nationality and had lived in Iraq for 30 years.
Hassan’s Iraqi husband, Tahseen Ali Hassan, had been too ill to travel to Britain for the service, the BBC reported.
Official blames rebels for shortages in fuel
BAGHDAD, Iraq Iraq’s oil minister yesterday blamed insurgents for the country’s worsening fuel shortages, saying saboteurs have targeted the oil industry to increase pressure ahead of the Jan. 30 elections.
The fuel shortage ironic in a country with some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves has embarrassed Iraq’s interim government. Other services also are barely functioning. Electricity supplies remain erratic, with frequent outages plaguing Baghdad and other cities.
Lines at gas stations in Baghdad stretch for miles, forcing some drivers to wait for 18 hours before reaching the pumps. Although the official price of gasoline is about 5 cents a gallon, it can reach 50 cents on the black market.