5 Oct 2009

Hawaiian soldier leaves army after denouncing Iraq war

8:04 am on 5 October 2009

An army lieutenant from Hawaii who refused to deploy to Iraq in 2006, saying he believed the war was illegal, has officially left the service.

Ehren Watada was discharged yesterday.

Watada was charged with missing his unit's deployment and with conduct unbecoming an officer for denouncing President George Bush and the war - statements he made while explaining his actions.

His court-martial ended in a mistrial in February 2007.

The army wanted to try him in a second court-martial, but a federal judge said a second trial on key charges would constitute double jeopardy.

Watada's lawyer Kenneth Kagan said last week that the Army had finally allowed his client to resign.

Mr Kagan added that Watada was granted a discharge under other than honorable conditions.

The 31-year-old Watada, a Honolulu native, has told the Honolulu Star-Bulletin he's happy the matter has finally been resolved.