Retired Maj. Gen. Walt Huffman, a Texas Tech University law professor who previously served as the Army's top lawyer, said he finds it odd that a foreign government would try an American serviceman on charges of deserting the U.S. military.
For example, in Germany and Japan, where there are U.S. military bases, local authorities can try U.S. servicemen on certain criminal offenses, but they'd have no interest in pursuing military charges such as desertion.
"I find that very unusual," he said.
In desertion cases, he said it can be difficult to prove the serviceman planned never to return.
"The hardest thing is proving that they intended to stay away permanently," he said.