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Court-martial set for US Army sergeant who refused return to Iraq

[JURIST] US Army Sergeant Kevin Benderman [defense website] will go before a general court-martial at Fort Stewart, Georgia, Thursday on charges of desertion and missing movement [JURIST report] after he failed to report for his unit's deployment flight to Iraq on January 7. In April, the Army denied Benderman's application for Conscientious Objector status [Online Journal report], a move that would have allowed him to receive discharge based on his firm objection to war "because of deeply held moral, ethical, or religious beliefs." Last week the presiding judge in the case threw out [AP report] recently-added larceny charges [JURIST report]. Benderman has waived his right to a jury trial, and if convicted faces up to seven years in prison and dishonorable discharge. AP has more.

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