Document Leaks in SEAL's Murder Case Could Taint Jury Pool: Navy

A judge has asked the Navy to address the media leaks, defense claims that brig mistreating SEAL facing murder charge; says could impact trial

A military judge has asked the Navy to address claims that material was being leaked to the media in the case of a SEAL charged with murder in the 2017 death of an Iraqi war prisoner, saying it could impact the trial.

Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017.

A U.S. Navy spokesperson confirmed to NBC 7 that documents have been leaked and there is concern that they could taint the jury pool.

The most recent leak, according to the spokesperson, appeared in a NavyTimes article that detailed accusations made against Gallagher in a proffer sent to military officials by an officer in his chain of command. 

Proffers are legal documents that detail what a witness might say during a trial. They are offered by people who are facing charges in exchange for limited or complete immunity or a plea bargain agreement.

The judge also expressed concern that Gallagher is being mistreated in the brig.

Defense attorneys say he was not allowed to shower for days, denied a request to get his hair cut and has had his medical appointments canceled.

Defense attorneys also accused the government of leaking to the media details about what witnesses might say.

The Navy says it is investigating.

The trial is set to begin Feb. 20.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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