Witness Says He Saw ISIS Fighter’s Death, No Stabbing

"I did not leave the room until the bad guy died," the Iraqi general said

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NBC News

An Iraqi general who fought alongside Navy SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher's platoon in Mosul, Iraq testified Thursday that he was there from the moment a young ISIS fighter was taken captive to the moment he died but did not see Gallagher stab him. 

Iraqi General Abbas Al-Jubouri gave a deposition on Thursday, the eighth day of Gallagher's court-martial for war crimes in connection with the 15-year-old soldier's death. 

Gallagher, 40, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

Al-Jubouri described the fight in May 2017 against the Navy SEALs and what he described was about 50 ISIS fighters. All were killed except one, a teenager who was wounded and taken captive by the SEAL team. 

Al-Jubouri testified he was in the room with Gallagher and the other Navy SEALs who were giving the fighter medical treatment.

What he didn't see, he testified, was Gallagher stab the soldier in the neck. 

"I did not leave the room until the bad guy died," Al-Jubouri said. When asked if he was sure the fighter was dead, he replied, "Well there was no movement, nothing, no breathing." 

The general also said that the SEALs knew that he wanted the fighter alive so that he could question him about intelligence.

Prosecutors poked holes in Al-Jubouri's testimony, questioning why he had made a video in defense of Chief Gallagher after he saw that he was facing court-martial.

The prosecution also questioned why the general's details in the video didn't line up with the details he told on the stand. For example, in his video, Al-Jubouri said there was internal bleeding; on the stand, he testified the fighter had been shot in the leg. 

Outside court, Gallagher's defense attorney Tim Parlatore said, "There is not inconsistency." He explained, the internal bleeding came from injuries to the fighter's lung that came from a "blast" during the gun battle. 

Other witnesses have said they saw Gallagher stab the wounded Islamic State captive in the neck and shoot at two civilians during his 2017 tour in Iraq.

One SEAL, Corey Scott, testified that he, in fact, actually killed him by plugging his breathing tube. Scott said he thought the boy would survive Gallagher's stabbing and wanted to spare him being tortured by Iraqi forces.

Prosecutors said Scott had never mentioned the asphyxiation in multiple conversations with them before the trial. Scott said they never asked him the cause of death. He may now face perjury charges. 

The defense has repeatedly argued that Gallagher was being framed by tainted or even false evidence.

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