A Marine accused of deserting his unit a decade ago in Iraq has been denied another chance for the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing.

Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore says a military judge recently denied a request by Cpl. Wassef Hassoun for a new Article 32 hearing. Gilmore said Hassoun's court martial is likely to begin in December.

Hassoun's case began in 2004 when he disappeared from a base in Iraq. He turned up in Lebanon, saying he was kidnapped by extremists. After a brief return to the U.S., Hassoun disappeared to Lebanon again.

A report from the Article 32 hearing acknowledged the military could have a difficult time proving its case. Hassoun's attorney asked for another hearing, saying more witnesses should have testified the first time.