• Staff report


Accused U.S. Army deserter Charles Jenkins has agreed to meet with a U.S. defense lawyer to discuss his options if he is court-martialed, including a possible plea bargain, Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said Tuesday.

At a regular news conference, Hosoda said an independent military lawyer is expected to outline the legal issues Jenkins may face and offer him advice.

“It is another story on what he will think afterward,” Hosoda said, adding that the meeting does not mean Jenkins intends to seek a plea bargain.

The American husband of repatriated abductee Hitomi Soga told government officials who visited his hospital in Tokyo on Tuesday morning that he would meet with a lawyer, he said.

Washington will decide who will be assigned to serve as his counsel and when the meeting will take place, Hosoda said. Jenkins stands accused of four charges: desertion, aiding the enemy, encouraging disloyalty and soliciting other service members to desert.

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