Army Considering Asylum Hearing for Region 8 Soldier

MARCH 29, 2005 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CST

LITTLE ROCK, AR - An asylum hearing for an Arkansas soldier who fled to Canada to avoid serving in Iraq may be set as early as this fall.

Artilleryman Cliff Cornell of Mountain Home said yesterday that it could take up to a year for his case to be heard, but is hoping for asylum in Canada instead of fighting a war he feels is wrong.

He said yesterday that he didn't want to be a part of, "all the innocent people who are being killed and the prisons over there where they've been torturing people."

Cornell is among eight American soldiers represented by Jeffry House, a Wisconsin native who fled to Canada in 1970 to avoid the Vietnam War draft.  He said yesterday that individual hearings for each soldier will be scheduled separately.

All Vietnam draft dodgers were pardoned by President Carter in 1977.

(Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)