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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Army grants Muslim chaplain honorable discharge

Melanthia Mitchell Associated Press

SEATTLE – A Muslim chaplain imprisoned for 76 days as part of an espionage probe by the government has received an honorable discharge from the Army.

Although Army Capt. James Yee has been cleared in the investigation, he resigned in August, saying officials never apologized to him. His discharge was effective at midnight Friday, said his civilian defense attorney, Eugene R. Fidell.

“As a West Point graduate, he leaves the Army with great sadness,” Fidell said in an e-mail to the Associated Press. “The fact that he was imprisoned for a prolonged period for no valid reason remains indefensible.”

After he was exonerated, Yee returned in April to his home base of Fort Lewis, about 40 miles south of here, and resumed his duties as a chaplain.

Fidell said Yee and his family were grateful for the support they’ve received.

The military charged Yee in 2003 with mishandling classified material, failing to obey an order, making a false official statement, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer.

All criminal charges were dismissed in March, 2004, but Army officials found Yee guilty of the noncriminal Army charges of adultery and downloading pornography. The reprimand he received was thrown out by an Army general a month later.

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