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Way Cleared for Decision on Trying Marine

May 12, 1987|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Pretrial proceedings for a Marine embassy guard accused of espionage came to a close on Monday, clearing the way for a final ruling on whether the man will face a court-martial.

As the hearings for Sgt. Clayton J. Lonetree concluded, his defense attorneys disclosed that a second Marine charged in the sex-and-spy scandal had once again recanted an incriminating statement given to investigators at the time of his arrest.

Cpl. Arnold Bracy, in a sworn statement taken over the weekend, flatly denied knowing anything of Lonetree's alleged romantic entanglements or having assisted in opening the embassy in Moscow to Soviet agents.

William Kunstler, one of Lonetree's defense lawyers, and Lt. Col. Mike Powell, Bracy's chief defense attorney, said the sworn statement was entered into evidence during Monday's pretrial hearing.

The Marine Corps, in a brief statement, said the so-called Article 32 hearing for Lonetree was finally completed behind closed doors at the Quantico, Va., Marine base after a monthlong recess granted at the defense's request.

Marine spokesmen refused to discuss the nature of the testimony at Monday's final hearing but predicted that a decision on whether Lonetree will be court-martialed would be made "within the next 10 days."

Lonetree's attorneys said the hearing ended with a defense motion that all charges against their client be dropped.

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