With a trial less than two weeks away, attorneys for a Navy SEAL accused of killing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 are alleging misconduct by the government and want the charges dismissed or prosecutors kicked off the case.
Attorneys for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher are poised to argue Thursday in a military court in San Diego that prosecutors lied, withheld evidence, and spied on the defense.
“The sum total of the government’s outrageous conduct is that no reasonable person can have confidence in the fairness of these proceedings,” attorney Tim Parlatore wrote in court papers.
Defense lawyers have been crying foul for more than two weeks over a move by prosecutors to put tracking software in emails sent to them and a journalist as part of an effort by Navy investigators to find who leaked court documents.
The Navy has said it did everything by the book and has no plans to remove the prosecutors from the case.
Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of an injured young teenage militant and for attempted murder for allegedly picking off civilians from a sniper’s perch.
Parlatore said Gallagher passed a polygraph when asked if he had committed war crimes and said prosecutors have failed to turn over the results of the test or other evidence that could exonerate his client.
Efforts to get the case thrown out comes as President Donald Trump considers pardoning several service members accused of war crimes, including Gallagher, who faces trial June 10.
Melley reported from Los Angeles.