The military judge presiding over the court-martial of a U.S. Navy SEAL Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, said, Navy SEAL’s fair trial right was violated in war crimes case.
The judge, Navy Captain Aaron Rugh, said, he found the prosecution’s conduct amounted to a violation of the defendant’s rights to a fair trial under the U.S. constitution.
The judge ordered Gallagher release from base confinement at a nearby military hospital center in San Diego.
He awaits trial.
The Navy SEAL is charged with murdering an Islamic State fighter in his custody, attempted murder of two unarmed civilians, a schoolgirl and elderly man, shot from a sniper’s perch.
Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying he was wrongly accused and that fellow SEAL team members testifying against him, several under grants of immunity, are disgruntled subordinates.
He said, they fabricated allegations to force him from command.
The judge said, the prosecution’s conduct violated the defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights to a fair trial.