After delay, openings expected in trial of vanishing Marine

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CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (AP) – After several days of delays, opening statements are expected in the trial of a U.S. Marine accused of deserting his post in Iraq and winding up in Lebanon.

Lawyers spent several days this week debating pretrial motions, pushing back to Thursday the opening statements in the trial of Cpl. Wassef Hassoun.

The final snag involved how to treat some classified information during the trial. Prosecutors had considered an appeal of a ruling on the matter but decided to proceed with the trial instead.

Hassoun first disappeared from Iraq in 2004. After briefly returning to the U.S., he disappeared again in 2005. Defense attorneys say he was kidnapped by insurgents and later became tangled up in the Lebanese legal system.

He faces charges of desertion, larceny and destruction of government property.

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