SOUTHFIELD, Mich. — A leading national Muslim advocacy group is using Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to New York for a U.N address to renew its plea for the freedom of an ex-Marine from Michigan imprisoned on spying charges.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations joined Amir Hekmati's family Tuesday, pleading for his release on humanitarian grounds, including news that his father has an inoperable brain tumor.

Sarah Hekmati says she hopes Ahmadinejad raises her brother's case on returning home.

Hekmati was born in Arizona, and his parents live in the Flint area.

He was arrested in August 2011 while visiting his Iranian grandmothers. Authorities accused him of being a CIA spy, and he was sentenced to death.

The conviction was reversed, and the 29-year-old awaits retrial. The U.S. denies he's a spy.