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Honorable Out For Army Spy Suspect

Army Capt. James Yee departs his military hearing at Ft. Benning, Ga., Monday, Dec. 8, 2003. Yee, 35, is charged with taking classified documents home with him from Guantanamo, Cuba, on a flight to Jacksonville, Fla., where he was detained Sept. 10. He was charged with disobeying an order by taking the material and with transporting classified documents improperly.
AP
A Muslim chaplain imprisoned for 76 days in solitary confinement and then cleared in an espionage investigation will receive an honorable discharge, his lawyer said.

The Army approved the request from Capt. James J. Yee on Monday, a year and three days after Yee was arrested at Guantanamo Bay, carrying what authorities alleged were classified documents.

"It's amazing to think just over a year ago, he was behind bars ... and being vilified throughout the country," attorney Eugene R. Fidell said Wednesday. "On a certain level, justice has triumphed."

Yee has declined to comment on the case, but in his letter of resignation to the Army last month he expressed resentment.

"Those unfounded allegations — which were leaked to the media — irreparably injured my personal and professional reputation and destroyed my prospects for a career in the United States Army," Yee said.

Yee, 35, is now stationed at Fort Lewis near Tacoma, where he will continue to serve until he is discharged in January, Fidell said.

Fort Lewis spokesman Lt. Col. Bill Costello did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

Yee ministered to prisoners at the Guantanamo Bay naval station in Cuba, where the U.S. military is holding suspected terrorists.

The Army initially linked the chaplain to a possible espionage ring, later charging him with mishandling classified material, failing to obey an order, making a false official statement, adultery and conduct unbecoming an officer.

In March, Army officials dismissed all criminal charges against Yee but found him guilty of the non-criminal Army charges of adultery and downloading pornography. The reprimand he received was thrown out by an Army general a month later.