A US army officer who refused orders to deploy to Iraq has pleaded not guilty to several charges at a court martial.
Lt Watada refused to deploy with his unit to Iraq in 2006
First Lt Ehren Watada is charged with missing movements and two charges of conduct unbecoming an officer.
Lt Watada told the military court at an army base in Washington state that the order to go to Iraq was illegal because the war itself was illegal.
A group of Lt Watada's supporters, including the actor Sean Penn, gathered outside the gates of the army base.
'Illegal and immoral'
Lt Watada was charged with missing movements after he refused to deploy with his unit to Iraq in June 2006.
The other two charges against Lt Watada stem from statements he has made criticising the war as illegal and immoral.
He has said he would have served in Afghanistan, but not Iraq.
The military judge, Lt Col John Head, has ruled that Lt Watada can not base his defence on the war's legality.
He also ruled that Lt Watada's statements are not protected by the right to free speech under the US constitution.
Lt Watada faces up to four years in prison if he is found guilty on all charges.