San Diego

New Allegations Against SEAL Vet Accused of War Crimes

If convicted, Chief Edward Gallagher faces life in prison

Chief Edward Gallagher, a Navy SEAL facing Court Martial in the death of a young wounded ISIS fighter, is also under investigation for the shooting death of a civilian in Afghanistan in 2010, according to a 439-page document leaked to the New York Times.

NBC 7 has not confirmed the information in the document leaked to the Times, but sources say the U.S. Navy was aware of the incident in Afghanistan.

"To leak that is just unfair to Eddie, it's unfair to the defense, we're innocent until proven guilty and I think they attempted to taint the waters," Ed Hiner, a retired Navy SEAL and supporter of Chief Gallagher said.

Chief Gallagher’s military trial is scheduled to begin at the end of May. He is charged with killing the ISIS fighter.

As noted in previous reports, NBC 7 learned during the Article 32 in military court that the Navy will present evidence at trial including cell phone photos that they say show Gallagher holding the deceased fighter during a reenlistment ceremony.

Fellow SEALs also testified that Gallagher shot at and struck Iraqi civilians on two occasions.

Chief Gallagher has denied all of the allegations.

In the recently-leaked document are allegations that SEAL team leadership discouraged team members from coming forward to report the alleged incidents.

But Hiner says SEALs were required to document incidents while deployed.

"To come back this many years later and start making allegations, I think it's just ridiculous... nonsense," he said.

The decorated Navy SEAL is no longer represented by San Diego Attorney Phil Stackhouse. He has hired a new lead defense attorney from New York, Timothy Parlatore.

Chief Gallagher is awaiting trial at Naval Medical Center San Diego after President Trump ordered he be moved from the Navy Brig at MCAS Miramar.

His Court Martial is scheduled to begin at the end of May. If convicted the SEAL veteran of 20 years faces life in prison.

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