USMC Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun prepares himself as he waits to make a statement to a large crowd of media outside the gates to USMC Base Quantico, Virginia July 19, 2004. (AP Photo/Dylan Moore)
CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina: A Marine hearing officer has postponed a decision on a Marine accused of deserting his unit in Iraq 10 years ago.
Lt. Col. Scott W. Martin adjourned the Article 32 hearing Thursday for Cpl. Wassef Hassoun by at least a week so the defense can provide translated Lebanese government documents. An Article 32 hearing is the military equivalent of a grand jury.
Defense attorney Haytham Faraj says Hassoun was kept in Lebanon for years for court proceedings triggered by a U.S. warrant accusing him of desertion. Faraj says Hassoun contacted U.S. authorities as soon as the Lebanese case against him ended.
Prosecutors argue that there is overwhelming circumstantial evidence that Hassoun was unhappy and fled the army in Iraq and later fled to Lebanon after briefly returning to the U.S.
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