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Tuesday, January 13, 2004

Court-martial of Syrian-born US Air Force translator begins in California

Court-martial proceedings against the Arabic translator accused of spying at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prison camp will begin Tuesday, military officials said.

U.S. Air Force officials last month dropped some of the most serious charges, but Senior Airman Ahmad I. al-Halabi still faces 17 of the 30 charges filed following his arrest in July after nine months at the prison. They include espionage counts, disobeying an order, making false official statements, mishandling classified documents and lying on a credit application.

Al-Halabi, a naturalized American who was born in Syria, was arrested July 23 at Jacksonville Naval Air Station in Florida at the start of a leave from Guantanamo, when he was heading to Syria . .