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Air Force translator arraigned

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Article 39A session in the court-martial case involving Senior Airman Ahmad A. Al Halabi, 60th Air Mobility Wing, convened Jan. 13 at Travis. The accused is charged with Uniform Code of Military Justice violations including failure to obey a lawful general order, making false official statements and attempted espionage.

The accused was arraigned by the military judge, Col. Barbara G. Brand of the Central Circuit Judiciary, Randolph AFB, Texas. Receipt of Airman Al Halabis pleas, however, was postponed pending rulings on anticipated motions.

Charges included six specifications alleging the accused failed to obey a lawful general order or regulation in violation of Article 92; three specifications alleging attempted espionage in violation of Article 106a; five specifications alleging the accused made false official statements in violation of Article 107; two specifications charged under Article 134 alleging the accused willfully retained documents without authority in violation of 18 U.S. Code 793; and one specification charged under Article 134 alleging the accused executed a fraudulent credit application scheme in violation of 18 USC 1344.

Airman Al Halabi was on temporary duty at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for nine months--serving as an Arabic language translator at the time of the alleged offenses. He was apprehended at Jacksonville Naval Air Station, Fla., on July 23, and was transported to his home station at Travis AFB the following day. He is currently being held in pretrial confinement at Vandenberg AFB, Calif.

The judge is expected to hear motions on March 24. The court-martial is tentatively scheduled to assemble with members and hear evidence on the charges on April 27.