Judge agrees to delay trial for Marine who vanished a decade ago in Iraq, wound up in Lebanon

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CAMP LEJEUNE, North Carolina — A judge has delayed the trial of a U.S. Marine accused of deserting his unit a decade ago in Iraq and later winding up in Lebanon.

Camp Lejeune spokesman Lt. Col. Cliff Gilmore said Thursday that a military judge granted a defense request to delay Cpl. Wassef Hassoun's case until February. A court martial had been scheduled to start next week on charges of desertion, larceny and destruction of government property.

The case began in 2004 when Hassoun disappeared from a base in Iraq. He turned up days later at the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon, saying he'd been kidnapped by insurgents. After a brief return to the U.S., he vanished again and wound up in Lebanon again.

A military report acknowledges that the case against Hassoun is largely circumstantial.

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