‘There’s No Doubt It’s Going To A Court-Martial,’ Says Lawyer For SEAL Accused Of War Crimes
The civilian lawyer for the Navy SEAL accused of war crimes violations during the Battle of Mosul in 2017 said Thursday he doesn’t doubt his client will have to fight to clear his name at court-martial.
In an interview following SEAL Chief Edward “Eddie” Gallagher’s Article 32 hearing — which wrapped up on Thursday — Attorney Philip Stackhouse told Task & Purpose “there’s no doubt it’s going to court-martial.” The retired former Marine judge advocate, who is representing Gallagher as his civilian defense counsel alongside Attorney Colby Vokey, is confident the SEAL will ultimately be vindicated at trial.
Though Stackhouse believes a trial is in the cards, it’s not necessarily a foregone conclusion: The hearing officer of the Article 32 now has a couple of weeks to consider the evidence and write a report for the convening authority at Naval Special Warfare Group One, Capt. Matthew Rosenbloom, who will ultimately decide whether or not it is referred to court-martial.
Gallagher, a 19-year veteran of the Navy, has been charged with four counts of violating military law, the most serious of which is premeditated murder. On or about May 3, 2017, according to the charge sheet, Gallagher allegedly murdered a wounded ISIS fighter by stabbing him in the neck and body with a knife.
The alleged stabbing occurred soon after the fighter — estimated by the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to be about 15 years old — was turned over to the SEALs by the Iraqi military, which had captured him after he was wounded in a coalition air strike. Prosecutors allege Gallagher killed the fighter while other SEALs were providing him medical treatment at their compound.
Stackhouse maintains his client was an aggressive combat leader, which one NCIS witness described as a “hard ass.” Stackhouse argued at the hearing that a small group of …read more
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