Canadian court to hear US Army Iraq deserter case

[JURIST] The Federal Court of Canada [official website] has announced that it will hear the asylum appeal of US deserter Jeremy Hinzman [advocacy website]. In January 2004, days before his scheduled deployment to Iraq, Hinzman deserted the US army and fled to Canada where he sought asylum and accused the US of committing war crimes in Iraq. In March, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board [official website] denied [decision text] Hinzman's asylum claim, rejecting his argument that because the war was illegal, any violent acts he would have committed if forced to go to Iraq would have amounted to atrocities. Hinzman lawyer Jeffrey House hopes to prove that the legality of the war, and the likely punishment Hinzman will face upon return to the US should be weighed in deciding the case. Justice Sean Harrington [official profile] is scheduled to hear Hinzman's case on February 7. Canadian Press has more.

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