A judge ruled this week that an Iraqi general eyewitness who says Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher did not kill a wounded ISIS prisoner while deployed must be called to testify in the case.
The judge determined Tuesday that Iraqi Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri is a “necessary witness” and must be brought to trial, one of Gallagher’s defense attorneys, Colby Vokey, told American Military News late Wednesday.
“Our investigator finally got through and talked with Abbas. Our investigator later took the stand and spoke to the judge about it. The general was there before, during and after [the ISIS prisoner] died, and he said Eddie didn’t kill him,” Vokey said. “He also said many complimentary things about Eddie.”
Vokey noted that the government might say that the State Department won’t allow Abbas to travel, as he might be on a no-fly list, but that this development in the case is huge for the defense.
This is in line with previous reports that there is also video of the alleged incident, and that Gallagher did not kill an ISIS prisoner. Rather, the prisoner had already been shot and lost too much blood, and was dying.
Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder of an ISIS prisoner in Mosul, Iraq, during his last deployment in 2017, allegedly stabbing the prisoner with a hunting knife. He also faces other charges, including aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and obstruction of justice.
Gallagher’s trial is now expected to start May 28, as it has been delayed so that the defense team can gather all the information it needs, Vokey added.
“We don’t want to go to trial until we have that info,” he stressed.
— Military Times (@MilitaryTimes) February 14, 2019
Video that refutes the murder charges reportedly shows that the ISIS fighter was critically wounded prior to being detained and treated by the SEAL team, that an artery had been punctured by a bullet and he had already lost too much blood.
A YouTube video and exclusive documents were obtained by Task & Purpose last year. The video, uploaded May 15, 2017, shows Iraqi journalist Ali Jawad interviewing the wounded ISIS fighter as he laid on the ground with a severe wound to his leg.
Abbas and his subordinate said the ISIS fighter suffered a “prolific wound” to his leg and that “the artery was shot,” according to the report. They said the fighter’s wound was caused by “numerous gunshot wounds” from a week-long battle with ISIS members, not an air strike.
The fighter was taken back to the compound with the Americans, where SEAL medics – including Gallagher – provided extensive treatment to the fighter, including three bags of blood. But the attempts were thought to be futile.
“He was almost dying,” Abbas had said of the ISIS fighter. “He had lost too much blood.”
Abbas insisted that the ISIS fighter succumbed to his gunshot wounds in the presence of the Iraqi ERD.
When an NCIS investigator interviewed Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ERD), he described Gallagher as “very professional, a hard worker, and was more proficient at his job than any American he has ever worked with,” T&P had reported.
“Abbas stated [that] the ISIS fighter was going to die, even with the life-saving measures, due to his artery being pierced by a gunshot wound,” the NCIS investigator said, T&P had reported.