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Europe

British soldier faces trial for desertion

©

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-03

A preliminary hearing to court-martial a British soldier for desertion has begun at a military camp near Salisbury. Lance Corporal Joe Glenton refused to return to Afghanistan, saying Britain's mission there would fail.

AFP - A British soldier faced the first stage of his court-martial for desertion on Monday, having refused to return to Afghanistan.
  
Lance Corporal Joe Glenton, from the Royal Logistic Corps, wore military fatigues Monday for a preliminary hearing at a military court in Bulford Camp near Salisbury in southwest England. Glenton's lawyer indicated that he would plead not guilty.
  
Judge Advocate Alastair McGrigor adjourned the case for another preliminary hearing on September 4. Glenton faces a maximum of two years' imprisonment.
  
The lance corporal, who did not speak at the hearing, was to return to duties with his regiment.
  
The 27-year-old Glenton on Thursday handed in a letter to Prime Minister Gordon Brown's Downing Street office calling for troops to be withdrawn from Afghanistan, saying Britain's mission there would fail.
  
Glenton joined the British Army in 2004 and served one tour of duty in Afghanistan. He went absent without leave in 2007 before handing himself in after two years and six days.
  
He was on leave until Monday.
  
His lawyer said he may call on on expert witness to give evidence on the lawfulness of British operations in Aghanistan.
  
The prosecutors said they were considering an additional charge connected to Glenton's alleged desertion.
  
The soldier would be interviewed by the military police, they added. The prosecution intends to call witnesses -- mostly sergeants -- currently serving in Afghanistan and Kuwait.

Date created : 2009-08-03

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