US Army deserter’s asylum bid
An American soldier who claimed asylum in Germany after deserting the Army to avoid the Iraq war will have to prove he would have been forced to take part in war crimes in Iraq to win refugee status, Europe’s highest court has ruled.

The ruling also said “it does not appear” that the possible court charge and punitive discharge that former helicopter mechanic Andre Shepherd would face if denied asylum amounts to “persecution,” the European court of Justice in Luxembourg ruled Thursday.

A German court in Munich requested the ruling more than a year ago. The Munich court is expected to continue hearing Shepherd’s asylum appeal.

The Luxembourg ruling appears to back Germany’s earlier rejection of Shepherd’s asylum request, which was turned down in 2011. Germany’s Interior Ministry then said the soldier’s fear of persecution for deserting was not substantial enough to merit refugee status under European law.
 
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