A U.S. military judge on Wednesday refused
to dismiss charges in an espionage case against an accused Syrian-American
airman, but said the behavior of prosecutors in the case should be reviewed
by a professional standards board.
Military Judge Col. Barbara Brand criticized certain aspects of the
government's case against Senior Airman Ahmad Al Halabi, who is accused of
carrying prison maps, letters and other documents from the U.S. base in
Halabi worked as an Arabic language translator at the base, where suspected
al Qaeda and Taliban fighters are held.
Brand cited one instance where a prosecutor told an Arabic language
translator not to correct a mistake of a translation of a key word in a
document and to not disclose the error to Halabi's defense team.
"This may not have been the best way to handle the situation," Brand said.
Brand also criticized how investigators handled a box holding Halabi's
possessions. They did not wear gloves when they opened the box and drank
alcoholic beverages as they looked through its contents.
"There was beer drinking at some time," Brand said.
However, Brand said the conduct would not justify dismissing the case