Wednesday, February 07, 2007

"First Lt. Ehren Watada - Mistrial!! - w/Updates"

SomeStones on Kos:
According to AP:

The judge overseeing the court martial of an Army lieutenant who refused to deploy to Iraq declared a mistrial Wednesday, saying the soldier did not fully understand a document he signed admitting to elements of the charges.

First Lt. Ehren Watada was fighting charges of conduct unbecoming an officer and missing movement for refusing to leave last June with his unit, the 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division.

Follow this story with news from around the globe at: Watada.

Sorry this is so short - just heard the news.

Follow Below for some Updates:

Update 1
Well, he is not off the hook.

According to the Tacoma News Tribune:

Lt. Col. John Head, who is presiding over the proceedings at Fort Lewis, set a new date of March 19. But Watada's civilian attorney, Eric Seitz of Honolulu, said that he had other commitments around that time.

It could be summer before charges are refiled and court action resumes.

Hat tip to kalmoth for the link.

Update 2

Lt. Watada, under direct questioning from the judge, Lt. Col. John Head, recanted part of his pre-trial stipulations. Specifically,

Under direct questioning from Head, Watada said he did not believe he had a legal duty to board the plane because he thinks the war is illegal.

"No, I did not believe I had that duty," Watada said.

Head then ruled over the arguments of prosecutors that Watada's statement today invalidated the earlier stipulation of facts upon which the case is based. Head said he had no choice but to throw it out.

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