Marine Who Vanished in Iraq Convicted of Desertion

Sentencing expected later this week for Wassef Hassoun
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 23, 2015 11:42 AM CST
Cpl. Wassef Hassoun is escorted to the courtroom on Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, NC, Feb. 9, 2015, for the beginning of his court martial trial.   (AP Photo/The Daily News, John Althouse)
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(Newser) – A US Marine who vanished a decade ago in Iraq has been found guilty of desertion charges related to his disappearances there and in Lebanon. The judge, Marine Maj. Nicholas Martz, gave his verdict today in the bench trial of Cpl. Wassef Hassoun. Martz found that Hassoun was guilty of deserting in Iraq in 2004 and then deserting again in 2005 by fleeing to Lebanon after a brief return to the US. Hassoun was also found guilty of causing the loss of his service pistol. Sentencing is expected later this week. Prosecutors argued during the trial that Hassoun made preparations to flee his base in Fallujah in 2004 and foreshadowed his actions by threatening to leave for Lebanon. Defense attorneys maintained Hassoun was kidnapped by insurgents in 2004.

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