Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher did not stab a critically wounded teenaged terrorist in Mosul in 2017, a U.S. Marine who was deployed with Gallagher testified Thursday.
While other members of his SEAL Team 7 platoon have alleged that Gallagher stabbed the captured ISIS fighter, Staff Sgt. Giorgio Kirylo said in court that he never saw Gallagher use a hunting knife to stab the prisoner, nor did he see stab wounds when he moved the corpse and a bandage on the fighter’s neck came off, the Associated Press reported.
And, an Iraqi general on Thursday testified via a video taped earlier this month that Gallagher did not stab the ISIS prisoner.
Maj. Gen. Abbas al-Jubouri said he told his men to hand over the terrorist to the SEAL team, and that he did not witness Gallagher or any other SEAL harm the prisoner.
“If he did any mistake with this kid, or if anyone had from the Navy SEALs, I would have stopped them,” al-Jubouri said in a video that was played before the court.
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, Iraq. He is also accused of shooting at unarmed civilians. He has pleaded not guilty, and his court-martial trial began earlier this month in San Diego.
The testimony this week – which contradicts the allegations brought forth by Gallagher’s own SEAL teammates that he stabbed the ISIS prisoner, among other things – coupled with a shocking reveal last week in court when another Navy SEAL said he was the one, not Gallagher, who killed the ISIS fighter, has left Navy prosecutors and Naval Criminal Investigative Services (NCIS) agents admitting mistakes in going about this case and having to attest to what the defense characterizes as a shoddy investigation based on nothing, at best.
Despite this, Navy prosecutors intend to continue moving forward with premeditated murder charges against Gallagher, despite the shocking testimony last week.
Petty Officer Corey Scott had revealed under oath – and under the protection of immunity that was granted by the government – that he, Gallagher and others had treated the ISIS fighter when he was brought in to SEAL Team 7 for about 20 minutes. The detainee appeared to be stabilized but then Gallagher stabbed the ISIS fighter below his collarbone, Scott had testified.
Then, Scott, a SEAL medic, went over and made the decision to cover the ISIS fighter’s breathing tube so he would die by asphyxiation, or suffocation, which he did.
“I knew he was going to die anyway, and I wanted to save him from waking up to whatever would happen to him,” Scott said during his testimony, the Navy Times had reported.
Scott says he is not lying, and that he did not previously tell the Navy prosecutors about this because he was never asked how the ISIS fighter had died, the Union-Tribune had reported.
“I don’t want him to go to jail,” Scott said, referring to Gallagher, the Union-Tribune reported, noting that Scott had previously obtained immunity from the prosecution to testify. He might now face a perjury charge, it has been reported this week.
Scott’s testimony had been highly anticipated, as he was the one who was monitoring the ISIS fighter before his death.
Scott previously told Navy investigators that the fighter was almost dead by the time he was taken into SEAL custody for treatment, and the treatment rendered to the fighter wasn’t medically necessary, according to a letter provided to Navy Times.