Following months of turmoil, the trial against decorated Navy SEAL Edward “Eddie” Gallagher is underway after a judge removed the lead prosecutor in the case for spying on the defense team.
Gallagher faces charges for allegedly killing an Islamic State prisoner under his care.
Per the New York Post:
Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to premeditated murder in the killing of the prisoner in his care and attempted murder in the shootings of two civilians in Iraq in 2017 in separate incidents. Gallagher says disgruntled platoon mates fabricated the allegations because they didn’t like his tough leadership.
His lawyers asked the Navy judge to dismiss the case because they say investigators and prosecutors withheld evidence that could help the defense and violated his rights to a fair trial by embedding tracking software in emails sent to them.
The judge, Capt. Aaron Rugh, earlier this month ruled the prosecution’s effort to track defense emails to find a news leak cast doubt on Gallagher’s ability to get a fair trial and violated his constitutional rights against illegal searches and the right to counsel by interfering with attorney-client privilege.
Rugh, however, refused to dismiss the case. Instead, he said he was taking steps to remedy the interference. He released Gallagher from custody, removed the lead prosecutor and lessened the maximum penalty he faces if convicted of premeditated murder to life imprisonment with parole — instead of no parole.
Gallagher’s family remains adamant that he cannot get a fair trial.
Recently, President Trump acted to get Gallagher transferred to less restrictive confinement. Trump is reportedly considering pardons for several service members accused of war crimes.