Camp Lejeune begins formal investigation on Marine accused of desertion

CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY - Marine Corps officers at Camp Lejeune are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq.

A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said Thursday that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being investigated for alleged desertion, destruction of government property and larceny. He faced those charges a decade ago after disappearing from his unit in Iraq with a 9 mm service pistol and a Humvee.

A photo of a blindfolded Hassoun turned up on Al-Jazeera television a week after his 2004 disappearance. Hassoun soon contacted American officials in Beirut, Lebanon, saying he'd been kidnapped.

He returned to Camp Lejeune, but disappeared again months later while visiting his family in Utah.

Hassoun was transported back to Camp Lejeune on June 30.

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