Judge Denies Passaro Request To Overturn Conviction

A federal judge has denied a request from David Passaro to overturn his conviction for assaulting an Afghan detainee who later died.

U-S District Court Judge Terrence Boyle said in an order filed today that there's substantial evidence to support the conviction of Passaro, a former C-I-A contractor.

Defense attorneys had argued there was no evidence that detainee
Abdul Wali had a serious injury.

Passaro was convicted in August in federal court with felony assault with a dangerous weapon and three counts of misdemeanor assault. Prosecutors said Passaro beat Wali during two days of interrogations in July 2003 at an Army base in northern Afghanistan. Wali later died in custody.

Passaro has not yet been sentenced, but faces up to eleven years in prison and a 250-thousand-dollar fine. He's the first American civilian charged with mistreating a detainee during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Defense lawyers argued, among other things, that there's no evidence Wali suffered serious injuries.