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    Prosecutor in Navy SEAL War Crimes Trial Removed by US Judge - Report

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    The lead prosecutor in the court-martial of a US Navy SEAL charged with war crimes was ordered removed from the case on Monday by a military judge for electronically tracking email communications of defence lawyers without a warrant, a Navy spokesman said, cited by Reuters.

    Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 39, a decorated career military veteran, faces trial on 10 June, in a case that has drawn the attention of US President Donald Trump, Reuters reported Monday.

    Gallagher is charged with murdering a wounded Daesh militant in his custody, and with attempted murder for wounding two unarmed civilians — a school girl and an elderly man he allegedly shot from a sniper's perch.

    READ MORE: Russian Envoy: ICC Won't Revive Reputation After Dropping US War Crimes Probe

    Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including obstructing justice in the case, which stems from his latest tour of duty in Mosul, Iraq, in 2017. If convicted, he could face life in prison, according to Reuters.

    Gallagher said, cited by Reuters, he was wrongly accused and that fellow SEALs that had testified against him, some in exchange for immunity, are disgruntled subordinates who fabricated allegations to force him from command.

    After the US and allies took control of Iraq in 2003,  CIA and US Army personnel committed a series of human rights violations against detainees in Abu Ghraib prison including physical and sexual abuse, torture, rape, sodomy, and murder, according to documented accounts.

    The abuses came to widespread public attention with the publication of photographs of the abuse in 2004. The incidents were widely condemned both in the United States and abroad. The administration of President George W. Bush asserted that these were isolated incidents and not indicative of general US policy. However, this was disputed by the Red Cross, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other humanitarian bodies.

    READ MORE: Damascus Accuses US and Its Allies of War Crimes in Syria

    In 2014, the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded a 6,700-page report documenting an atrocious pattern of crimes the US government had committed, including torture in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nevertheless, no authorities under Presidents George W. Bush or Barack Obama have faced accountability.


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    Navy SEAL, war crimes, Iraq, United States, San Diego
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