Army drops cowardice charge
Thursday, November 6, 2003 Posted: 10:14 PM EST (0314 GMT)
Sgt. Georg Andreas Pogany is charged with dereliction of duty.
FORT CARSON, Colorado (CNN) -- The U.S. Army Thursday dismissed a cowardice charge against a National Guardsman shaken by the sight of an Iraqi soldier's corpse, which had been cut in half by machine gun fire.
The cowardice charge carries a penalty of up to death. No one since the Vietnam War has faced that charge.
Instead Sgt. Georg Andreas Pogany, 32, faces a reduced charge of dereliction of duty. A military court hearing scheduled for Friday has been postponed.
The sight upset Pogany enough that he asked for help from his superiors to deal with panic attacks.
Pogany's attorney said his client is grateful the cowardice charge was dismissed because "the stigma that comes with being charged as a coward is rather high."
Richard Travis said the army might be more reluctant to charge someone with cowardice. He said he was disappointed the military is still pursuing charges against his client.
Pogany, an intelligence sergeant who had been attached to a Special Forces unit to interrogate Iraqis, arrived in Iraq a little more than a month ago. Three days later he witnessed the killing of the Iraqi, who was armed with a rocket-propelled grenade.
Days later, he was put on a plane and sent home.
CNN's Bob Franken contributed to this report.