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The Nation

Muslim Chaplin Appeals Army Reprimand, Seeks an Apology

March 30, 2004|From Associated Press

MIAMI — A Muslim Army chaplain once suspected of being involved in an espionage ring at a prison camp for terrorism suspects has appealed his reprimand for two minor charges.

Capt. James Joseph Yee, 35, was found guilty last week of adultery and improperly downloading pornography onto an Army computer. His lawyer filed the appeal Sunday.

The lawyer, Eugene R. Fidell, wrote that "a grave miscarriage of justice has occurred. Decisions were made on insufficient evidence, and have had devastating effects."

Fidell said the Army's decision to drop most of the charges and hold an Article 15 proceeding -- used to settle minor disciplinary issues -- hurt Yee's defense preparation and minimized media scrutiny. "This smacks of gamesmanship and bias," he wrote.

Fidell is requesting that Gen. James T. Hill, head of the U.S. Southern Command in Miami, recuse himself from the case. He also wants the military to return Yee's passport, restore him to duty and grant a formal apology. A spokesman said the military had no immediate comment.

Yee spent 76 days in custody after the military initially attempted to connect him to a purported spy ring at the Guantanamo Bay naval station in Cuba.

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