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Navy SEAL Gallagher defense team is moving to dismiss murder case

Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher. (Courtesy of Andrea Gallagher)
May 15, 2019

The civilian defense attorney for Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher says he will move to dismiss the entire case against his client.

Tim Parlatore told American Military News on Wednesday that he would also move to disqualify the prosecutors.

“Big Navy should take another look at this and decide whether they really want to go forward with these charges,” Parlatore said. “There was never any evidence, and there’s misconduct by NCIS [Naval Criminal Investigative Service] and the prosecutors – and it’s because they don’t have the evidence.”

Gallagher, a 15-year Navy SEAL, is charged with premeditated murder, accused of stabbing and killing a critically wounded ISIS fighter during a 2017 deployment to Mosul. He is also accused of shooting at unarmed civilians. He has pleaded not guilty.

The trial is slated to begin May 28. But just this week Gallagher’s defense confirmed that a Navy prosecutor admitted in court that he illegally spied on Navy SEAL defense lawyers and a member of the media.

Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak admitted in a closed door hearing on Friday that emails were sent with spy software, and that it was sent in order to investigate leaks in the case, Parlatore has said.

It was initially revealed Monday that the Navy prosecutor installed tracking software into recent emails sent to defense attorneys and one reporter in an effort to spy.

The prosecutor’s effort was to try and see who might be leaking information to the media. But the ones suspected of leaking information are the Navy prosecutors, Parlatore has pointed out repeatedly in the past.

The defense team for Lt. Jacob Portier, Gallagher’s commander who is charged with conduct unbecoming of an officer in connection to Gallagher’s case, filed a motion Monday asking a military judge to have the prosecutors hand over information about what they were seeking and how deep the spying went. The tracking software was sent last Wednesday to 13 lawyers and paralegals, and one reporter.

Gallagher, 39, was arrested on Sept. 11, 2018, and was held in Naval Consolidated Brig Miramar in San Diego for more than seven months before President Donald Trump took note of the case. In late March, Trump tweeted an order that Gallagher be moved to less-restrictive pre-trial conditions, this after more than 50 members of Congress called for urgent attention to the case and implored investigations into how Navy is handling both the case and Gallagher’s treatment. He has been at the medical center since, preparing for his court-martial trial slated to begin May 28.

“Eddie said to me the other day, We have departed reality and entered a John Grisham novel,” Parlatore added.