CAMP LEJEUNE, ONSLOW COUNTY - A Marine hearing officer has postponed a decision on a Camp Lejeune 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.
A Marine who mysteriously disappeared in Iraq 10 years ago is due in military court after an investigation into whether he deserted his unit.
Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is scheduled to appear at Camp Lejeune Thursday in an Article 32 hearing, which is the military equivalent of a grand jury.
Military investigators are looking at whether he deserted his unit in Iraq in 2004. He turned up days later after photos were released of him in a blindfold with a sword above his head. He said he was kidnapped by insurgents, but some in the military doubted his story
Once back in the U.S., he disappeared again when he failed to return to Camp Lejeune in January of 2005 following a visit with family.