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Navy SEAL accused of Iraq war crimes heading for court martial

Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward R. Gallagher

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By ANDREW DYER | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: January 3, 2019

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Tribune News Service) — A San Diego-based Navy SEAL accused of committing war crimes during a 2017 deployment to Iraq is heading for court martial, the Navy said Wednesday.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Edward R. Gallagher is scheduled to be arraigned in a San Diego military courtroom Friday, said Brian O'rourke, a spokesman for Navy Region Southwest, the court martial's convening authority.

Gallagher, who is a medic, is accused of killing a wounded ISIS combatant under his care and then reenlisting while standing next to the man's corpse, a charge sheet provided to the Union-Tribune says. He is also charged with, on another occasion, shooting two civilians — a man and a woman.

The Navy is also charging Gallagher with shooting at non-combatants — civilians — several times throughout the deployment to Mosul, Iraq, and with trying to obstruct the investigation after the unit returned to San Diego.

Charges that Gallagher used and possessed controlled substances were dropped.

Gallagher's platoon commander, Navy Lt. Jacob Xavier Portier, is also accused of having knowledge of Gallegher's actions and failing to follow through with a timely investigation, but the Navy has not yet said whether he would face court martial.

Gallagher's San Diego-based attorney Phillip Stackhouse did not immediately return a call for comment Thursday morning.

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