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Court Rejects US Army Deserter's Request for Asylum in Germany

In this Nov. 16, 2016 picture the deserter and former US soldier Andre Shepherd, right, looks to his lawyer Reinhard Marx, who is carrying documents into the courtroom of the administrative court in Munich, Germany. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)
In this Nov. 16, 2016 picture the deserter and former US soldier Andre Shepherd, right, looks to his lawyer Reinhard Marx, who is carrying documents into the courtroom of the administrative court in Munich, Germany. (Tobias Hase/dpa via AP)

BERLIN — A Munich court has rejected a U.S. soldier's asylum application in Germany, arguing that he hasn't exhausted all avenues to leave the military.

Army Spc. Andre Shepherd deserted from his military base in southern Germany in 2007, claiming he wanted to avoid returning to Iraq where he feared being involved in war crimes.

The 39-year-old, who has permanent residency in Germany because he is married to a German woman, took his case to court after German authorities rejected the asylum bid.

The Munich administrative court noted in its ruling Thursday that the Apache helicopter mechanic had repeatedly re-enlisted with the U.S. military.

The dpa news agency reported Thursday that Shepherd's lawyer plans to appeal the verdict.

A spokesman for the U.S. Army in Europe couldn't immediately comment on the case.

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