Guardsman's Defense Claims No Jurisdiction - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

05/20/04

Guardsman's Defense Claims No Jurisdiction

He signed up to defend our country, but Florida National Guardsman Camilo Mejia is in trouble and in court. He's facing court martial at Fort Stewart in Hinesville.

Mejia served in Iraq, took leave last fall, and never returned to duty. He says he's protesting an unjust war. His family now says he's in trouble for speaking out against mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners.

"I don't consider myself a martyr, I don't consider myself a hero," Mejia said. "I just spoke up and more people should do the same."

Mejia's defense yesterday claimed the court didn't have jurisdiction, since he's not an American citizen. The judge disagreed and the court martial continues today. We'll stay on the story and let you know what happens.

If convicted, he could get a year behind bars.

Reported by: Dal Cannady, dcannady@wtoc.com

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