9 Jul 2007

US to retry Hawaiian soldier over Iraq war defiance

1:51 pm on 9 July 2007

A US army judge in Honolulu has ruled that a soldier who refused to be deployed to Iraq can be tried again.

Judge Lt. Colonel John Head found that trying 1st Lt. Ehren Watada again for his refusal to deploy to Iraq would not violate his constitutional right not to be prosecuted twice for the same crime.

Watada's first trial ended in a mistrial.

Immediately after the judge's ruling Watada's lawyers filed notice they will appeal to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

Watada, who grew up in Hawaii, is charged with missing his unit's deployment in June 2006 and with conduct unbecoming an officer for comments he made about President George Bush and the Iraq war.

If convicted, he could be sentenced to six years in prison and be dishonorably discharged.