MILITARY

Marine accused of deserting unit a decade ago in Iraq has been denied new Article 32 hearing

FILE - In this July 19, 2004 file photo, Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun makes a statement to the media outside Quantico Marine Base in Quantico, Va. Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore said Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, that a judge decided last week to deny Cpl. Hassoun's request for another Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing. Gilmore said Hassoun's general court-martial is scheduled to begin at Camp Lejeune on Dec. 8 before the judge, Marine Maj. Nicholas Martz. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

FILE - In this July 19, 2004 file photo, Marine Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun makes a statement to the media outside Quantico Marine Base in Quantico, Va. Marine spokesman Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore said Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, that a judge decided last week to deny Cpl. Hassoun's request for another Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing. Gilmore said Hassoun's general court-martial is scheduled to begin at Camp Lejeune on Dec. 8 before the judge, Marine Maj. Nicholas Martz. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)  (The Associated Press)

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.