20:56 GMT +317 August 2019
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    Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, right, walks with his wife, Andrea Gallagher, as they arrive to military court on Naval Base San Diego, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in San Diego.

    Navy SEAL Found Not Guilty on All Charges Except Photos Posed With Corpse of Daesh Fighter - Report

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    Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 39, a decorated career military veteran, had been 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 his sniper's perch.

    On Tuesday, Gallagher was acquitted of murder by a military jury as well as being exonerated on all other counts of war crimes, except for unlawfully posing with the corpse of a captive Daesh* fighter, according to Reuters.

    The case against Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, whose prosecution has reportedly drawn White House attention, went to the seven-member jury of US Marines and Navy personnel on Monday as the trial phase of his court-martial entered its third week.

    A verdict reportedly required the agreement of at least five of the seven jurors, all but one of whom have served in combat.

    Gallagher could have faced life in prison. Several fellow SEAL team members testified that he fatally stabbed the captured Iraqi prisoner in the neck with a custom-made knife after the teenage fighter was brought to Gallagher's outpost for medical treatment, according to Reuters.

    Two defense witnesses - an Iraqi general and a US Marine staff sergeant - testified, however, that they never saw the Iraqi captive mistreated while in American custody, Reuters reported.

    A Navy SEAL medic also testified that it was he, not Gallagher, who caused the death of the gravely injured prisoner by blocking his breathing tube, calling it a mercy killing, according to Reuters.

    Gallagher was arrested in 2018, more than a year after returning from his eighth overseas deployment in northern Iraq's Mosul.

    In 2016, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a report found reasonable grounds to believe that the United States had been complicit in the torture and ill-treatment of detainees in secret detention facilities in Afghanistan in 2003-2004. In 2017, the UN-sponsored court said it would conduct a more detailed investigation into the allegations.

    *Daesh (also known as ISIS/ISIL/IS) is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.

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