[JURIST] The US Marine Corps [official website] said Tuesday that Allen Abney, a Vietnam War deserter who is now a Canadian citizen, will probably be released within a week from Camp Pendleton [official website], California. Abney deserted the Corps and fled to Canada in 1968 and was arrested late last week [JURIST report] while crossing the Canadian border into Idaho.
The Marine Corps insists that the arrest was not made as an attempt to crack down on military deserters and says that Abney is not being held in the jail section of the facility. Rights lawyers say that Abney's case is part of a US military strategy to dissuade current recruits from deserting to avoid service in Iraq, but the Marine Corps says Abney's arrest was simply the result of a better checking and record-keeping process. A Corps spokesman said Abney was likely to be discharged and not court-martialed. CTV has more.