8 Feb 2007

Mistrial of Hawaii-based soldier defying US Iraq campaign

2:05 pm on 8 February 2007

A judge has declared a mistrial in the court-martial of a US Army officer from Hawaii who refused to go to Iraq.

The judge ruled that a document presented as evidence against First Lieutenant Ehren Watada cannot be used because it suggested Lt Watada confessed when in fact he pleaded not guilty.

Lt Watada was charged with failing to deploy, contempt toward officials and conduct unbecoming an officer for refusing to serve in Iraq.

He has opposed the war, calling it illegal and immoral.

The prosecution is likely to begin a new court-martial against Lt Watada as early as March.

The Iraq War has claimed dozens of lives of Pacific Islanders sent there with the US military or working there for private companies.