What happened to NAVY SEAL Edward Gallagher?
Prosecutors of former special operations chief Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher did not expect Corey Scott to admit to killing a wounded Islamic State insurgent. The government gave Cory Scott immunity if he testified truthfully and he did. He testified to being the actual murderer, at another soldiers murder trial.
Moreover, Gallagher faces life in prison for shooting civilians, including a school-aged girl. Prosecutors also charged him with knifing to death a captured ISIS fighter receiving medical treatment in Iraq in 2017. He also faces obstruction of justice charges for allegedly attempting to intimidate troops reporting his crimes.
The prosecution called Special Operator Corey Scott, a SEAL team medic, to testify for the government. The prosecutors expected Scott would provide a first-hand account of Gallagher’s stabbing of the ISIS fighter.
However Scott testified that it was not Gallagher who was responsible for the prisoner’s death: Scott killed the prisoner. Scott told the court that after he saw Gallagher stab the victim with a knife. He held his thumb over a breathing tube in the fighter’s mouth. Iraqi forces captured the soldier and dumped him on the ground at a military base outside of Mosul, Iraq. He had a leg wound and a collapsed lung following house-to-house fighting. Prosecutors say Gallagher, 39, who began his 18-year career as a medic, briefly treated the young Islamic State fighter. He then pulled out his knife and stabbed him in the neck several times.
What did Scott testify?
Scott claimed the fighter was breathing normally after he and Gallagher treated him for wounds suffered in an air strike. Then Scott saw Gallagher stab the young militant once with his knife. The fighters survived the stabbing, but Scott blocked the young man’s air tube thinking he would be tortured to death by Iraqi forces. “I knew he was going to die anyway,” Scott told the court. “I wanted to save him from waking up to what had happened next.” Scott testified under immunity from prosecution. However Scott told reporters that he never mentioned his role in the ISIS fighter’s death because he had not been asked and he did not want to be punished. “I don’t want him [Gallagher] to go to jail,” Scott explained.
What could happen next in the trial?
A seven-sailor jury at the court martial will determine if the insurgent’s death was murder, as alleged by the prosecution, or mutiny by sailors under Gallagher’s command in Iraq, as the defense contends. Gallagher’s defense attorney Tim Parlatore says that Scott’s testimony means proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Gallagher was responsible will be impossible. Gallagher faces a court martial for premeditated murder, which requires a finding that he acted with consciously conceived thought to take his victim’s life. An intervening action breaks any causal chain of criminal liability. That is, if Scott made the decision to suffocate the ISIS fighter, he is therefore the one who legally caused the death.
Prosecutors also charged Gallagher with attempted murder in the wounding of two civilians. Gallagher stated that disgruntled SEAL team members in his platoon who turned him in.
(July 3, 2019) It has been reported that on July 2 Eddie Gallagher was found NOT GUILTY of all charges, but one. The court found him guilty of unlawfully posing for an unofficial photo with a human casualty. The maximum penalty for that crime is four months in jail. The court sentenced Gallagher to time served and released.
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