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California Briefing / LOS ANGELES

Man gets 1 year in immigration case

September 30, 2008|From the Associated Press

An Iraqi-born American citizen who was acquitted of spying for Saddam Hussein has been sentenced in Los Angeles to a year in federal prison on immigration violations.

William Shaoul Benjamin was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter.

Benjamin was convicted in February of giving false information during the naturalization process. In the same trial, he was cleared of a conspiracy charge and for failing to register as a foreign agent.

Prosecutors had accused Benjamin of being a covert agent for the Iraqi leader, sent to Los Angeles to report on his fellow Assyrian Christians.

The Assyrian Christians are a minority in Iraq and were perceived to be hostile to Saddam's regime.

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