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Marine charged with desertion

  |   Dec. 9, 2004 at 6:03 PM
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C., Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Marine Corps Thursday charged a corporal with desertion for his disappearance from a U.S. military camp near Fallujah, Iraq, in June.

Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is accused of leaving his unit without authorization. The Arabic interpreter was also charged with loss of government property and theft of a military firearm as well as theft and wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle.

Hassoun, 24, allegedly left the camp with his 9-mm service pistol. He later emerged in his native Lebanon and said he had been taken captive by an Islamist group.

A resident of West Jordan, Utah, Hassoun joined the Marine Corps in January 2002 and is now serving as a motor vehicle operator with the 4th Marine Expeditionary Brigade in Camp Lejeune.

He will continue to perform his duties during the trial. If convicted, Hassoun faces the maximum punishment of a dishonorable discharge, forfeiture of pay and allowances, and five years confinement for each specification.

© 2004 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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