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Hassoun's Legal Proceedings Start Tuesday

Hassoun's Legal Proceedings Start Tuesday

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) -- Military officials say the Marines will hold a pretrial hearing next week for a Marine charged with desertion after disappearing from his unit in Iraq.

Corporal Wassef Ali Hassoun claims he was abducted by anti-coalition forces. He was charged last week followed a five-month investigation into his June disappearance from a U-S military camp near Fallujah.

Hassoun is accused of taking unauthorized leave from the unit where he served as an Arabic interpreter.

An Article 32 hearing, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing, will begin Tuesday.

Hassoun also is charged with loss of government property and theft of a military firearm for allegedly leaving the Marine camp while still in possession of his nine-millimeter service pistol. The other charge is theft and wrongful appropriation of a government vehicle.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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