Wednesday, April 28, 1999

New files appeal motion
Former army specialist still fighting court martial

By Jon E. Dougherty


Court-martialed former Army Spec. Michael New has filed a motion for an expedited hearing on his case in the Army Court of Criminal Appeals, where his case has languished now for more than a year.

New was initially court-martialed in 1995 for refusing to wear United Nations insignia on his standard-issue army uniform, and for refusing to serve under U.N. command as an American soldier in Macedonia.

According to his father, Daniel New, Lt. Col. Henry Hamilton (USMC-Ret.), told the court that "10 months is more than a reasonable time for the Army to rule" on his client's case.

"They know that our resources are limited and theirs are not," the elder New told WorldNetDaily. "But we have American soldiers, from the same deployment that Michael was ordered on in Macedonia, now being charged as war criminals by the Serbs," he said, referring to the three American POWs that were captured and remain in the custody of Yugoslav military forces.

Daniel New said, "this is precisely what we warned the army about in our original defense."

"Maybe now they can see why we were so concerned," he added, saying that American military personnel were serving in the Balkans "as mercenaries instead of Americans, or patrolling armed in regions where we have no legal basis for a presence."

New added that several congressmen continue to express an interest in his son's case. He said originally, "during initial congressional involvement -- shortly after Michael's case became nationally known," some 44 U.S. congressmen and senators were attempting to help by making phone calls to the Pentagon, the State Department and the White House.

"When this all began, Rep. David Funderburk, R-NC, initiated the inquiries into why the White House and President Clinton were requiring American forces to deploy" under U.N. auspices, New told WorldNetDaily. Since then, Funderburk has been defeated in office, but other congressmen -- most notably Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-ID, and Rep. Bob Barr, R-GA, have taken up where he left off.

"We don't expect to win this in (military) court," Daniel New said, "but we at least hope they'll beat us up and get it over with so we can get on to the federal courts where the constitutional questions can be considered."

"This case has yet to be heard on its merits, after three years," he added. "And every law student knows that justice delayed is justice denied."

Currently Michael New, a resident of Montgomery County, Texas, is a full-time student at a community college, and is taking pre-medical courses towards a physician's assistant degree. He was serving in Germany as a medic in the 3rd Infantry Division, which has since been merged into the 1st Division, at the time of his court-martial.