8 Oct 2007

US army lieutenant from Hawaii argues against second court martial

12:05 pm on 8 October 2007

The US court-martial of Army 1st Lieutenant, Ehren Watada, is on hold after a federal judge

in Washington state agreed to hear the Iraq war objector's arguments that another Army

trial would violate his constitutional rights.

Lieutenant Watada, who was born and raised in Hawaii, was due to appear in a second court-martial for refusing to deploy to Iraq.

The first court-martial ended in a mistrial in February.

Mr Watada's lawyers had argued that a second court-martial would violate his constitutional right not to be tried twice for the same crime, commonly called "double jeopardy."

His attorneys are also asking that he be allowed to leave the Army.

Mr Watada's term of service ended in December, but the pending legal proceedings have prevented his discharge.