US Marine accused of desertion returned to NC base

U.S. Marine Wassef Hassoun reads a statement to news media in front of his brother's house on August 1, 2004 in West Jordan, Utah. (File) (George Frey, Getty Images)
U.S. Marine Wassef Hassoun reads a statement to news media in front of his brother's house on August 1, 2004 in West Jordan, Utah. (File) (George Frey, Getty Images)
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Updated: 6/30 2:07 pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The United States Marine Corps said Monday that a corporal who disappeared in Iraq a decade ago, and was later declared a deserter, is now in custody at a North Carolina prison.

Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun was returned to Camp Lejeune on Monday, Marine Corps officials said. Hassoun was in the Middle East when he contacted U.S. authorities to give himself up, although officials wouldn't say what country he called from.

Hassoun, who was born in Lebanon and is a naturalized American citizen, isappeared from his unit in Iraq in 2004. He soon turned up unharmed in Lebanon and said he'd been kidnapped by Islamic extremists. He disappeared again before facing the military equivalent of a grand jury.

Hassoun was declared a deserter in January 2005.

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