US admiral faces adultery charges

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A SENIOR United States naval officer faces multiple counts of adultery and lying in the latest case of sexual misconduct to be acknowledged by the military.

According to the Washington Times, which revealed details of the charges yesterday, David Scudi, a rear-admiral who was in charge of the Navy's office of outsourcing and privatisation, has been suspended from his duties in Washington and transferred to the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia.

The case has come to light at a sensitive time, only days before the judiciary committee of the House of Representatives holds a special session to compare the accusations against President Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky affair with the definition and punishment of perjury in other areas of American life.

Among those expected to give evidence are judges, convicted perjurers and those with experience of handling sexual misconduct cases in the military. Mr Clinton is accused of lying about the affair under oath and obstructing justice, and the committee is considering whether to recommend impeachment.

According to the Washington Times, David Scudi is only the second admiral to have been charged with criminal offences since the 1950s. A preliminary hearing is to be held next month to decide whether the case should proceed to court martial.

Scudi, 54 and married, is charged with two counts of adultery, giving false statements, obstruction of justice and violation of military ethics. He is accused of liaisons with a defence contractor and a civilian Navy employee.