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US marine's spy trial heads for a quick end

Lawyers for the first United States marine to be court-martialed for espionage say they will rest their case without calling a single witness. Defense counsel for Sgt. Clayton Lonetree complained Wednesday that the military judge, Navy Capt. Philip F. Roberts, gutted their case with restrictive rulings. ``He has not allowed us to ask questions of witnesses, and he's prevented us from bringing witnesses, and we think that's very, very wrong,'' defense lawyer Michael Stuhff said. The judge ruled that the defense could not call as expert witnesses former CIA official and author Philip Agee and others who have published information about intelligence agents in US embassies.

The chief military prosecutor, Marine Maj. David L. Beck, rested his case late Wednesday after calling 32 witnesses over seven days. The defense decided on Wednesday that Sergeant Lonetree would not testify when the trial, which began July 22, resumes today. Lonetree faces up to life in prison if convicted on all 13 counts.

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The defense lawyers said the decision not to call witnesses was not a concession of defeat. They said they advanced their case during closed-door testimony that the judge would not allow reporters to see.

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