American found responsible for torture in Iraq
The Justice Department declared on Monday that for the second time ever, an American has been found guilty of torturing someone in a US court for cruelly mistreating a worker at an arsenal in Iraqi Kurdistan.
In a federal court in Pennsylvania on Friday, Ross Roggio, 54, was found guilty of torturing people as well as other felonies. He may live for the rest of his days in prison.
According to a statement from the department, in 2015 Roggio was building a factory in Iraq’s Kurdistan area to manufacture M-4 automatic assault weapons using illegally supplied American parts.
At the time, an Estonian guy who was one of his workers questioned the proposal.
The indictment said that Roggio set up the man’s kidnapping so that he wouldn’t interfere.
39 days of the victim’s detention in a Kurdish military camp are reportedly spent in repeated interrogation and torture sessions, during which Roggio allegedly directed the troops to beat the man with hoses, suffocate him with a sack, and threaten to amputate his fingers with a cutting tool.
“On at least one occasion, Roggio wrapped his belt around the victim’s neck, yanked the victim off the ground, and suspended him in the air, causing the victim to lose consciousness,” the department claimed.
Roggio and his business were accused on 37 counts of illegitimately exporting equipment and parts for weapons for the project in 2018.
Based on a law against torture from 1994, the Justice Department brought accusations of torture to the case last year.
Roggio was found guilty on Friday on crimes including conspiracy, exporting illicit weapons, money laundering, smuggling, and torture.
The 1994 legislation has only resulted in one other American being charged.
Charles “Chuckie” Taylor, a US citizen and the son of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor, was sentenced to 97 years in prison in 2009 for engaging in crimes of torture between 1999 and 2003 in the West African nation.
According to FBI Assistant Director Luis Quesada, “Today’s landmark conviction is the result of the extraordinary courage of the victim, who came forward after the defendant inflicted unspeakable pain on him for more than a month.”
The Human Rights Violators and War Crimes Center and the FBI will tenaciously pursue justice, according to Quesada. “Torture is among the most heinous crimes the FBI investigates,” he said.