Former Army translator gets 18 months in US prison

A former military translator and Iraqi native convicted of making false statements when he sought a national security clearance has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison.

Issam "Sam" Hamama (huh-MAH'-muh) was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court in Detroit. He had been arrested in 2008 and was convicted in January, when he was also acquitted of secretly working as an Iraqi agent in the U.S.

The government sought a 6½-year prison sentence for the 61-year-old former Detroit-area resident, who now lives in El Cajon, Calif.

Hamama claimed he only passed along basic information about U.S. Iraqis when he reached out to Iraqi officials in the 1990s.

Defense attorney Haytham Faraj (HY'-thum fuh'-RAZH) called the sentencing harsh and says he intends to appeal.