- Associated Press - Thursday, June 27, 2019

SAN DIEGO — An Iraqi general whose forces were partnered with U.S. troops in Iraq testified that he handed over a wounded Islamic State militant to Navy SEALs in 2017 to keep him alive for interrogation.

General Abbas al-Jubouri was questioned June 3 in the San Diego court-martial of SEAL Chief Edward Gallagher, who is accused of fatally stabbing the young militant. Video of the testimony was shown to the jury on Thursday. Gallagher, 40, has pleaded not guilty to murder and attempted murder.

The general said during defense questioning that he did not see Gallagher harm the captive in any way - and if he had, he would have spoken up.

“If he did any mistake with this kid, or if anyone had from the Navy SEALs, I would have stopped them,” al-Jubouri said.

Navy medics did their best to save the captive, he said.

When he was shown photos of the dead militant with bandages around his neck and tubes in his chest, al-Jubouri said he’d never seen the images before.

The general said the militant told him he was 17 years old.

The trial resumed a day after officials said a SEAL who testified that it was he - not Gallagher - who killed the wounded prisoner may face perjury charges. The Navy said it is reviewing Corey Scott’s statements following his stunning testimony last week.

Witnesses had said they saw Gallagher stab a wounded adolescent Islamic State captive in the neck and shoot at two civilians during his 2017 tour in Iraq.

Scott testified that he actually killed the captive 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.

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

On Tuesday, the Navy’s legal adviser to the commander overseeing the court-martial notified Scott’s lawyer, Brian Ferguson, that Scott’s testimony could be used against him if he lied.

Capt. Donald King’s email said Scott’s testimony directly contradicted “previous official statements - thus exposing him to prosecution.”

Cmdr. Tam Lawrence, Naval Special Warfare spokesman, said Scott was granted immunity in exchange for the promise of truthful testimony.

Scott’s statements were being reviewed but “no decisions have been made,” she said.

Ferguson declined to comment.

Gallagher’s superior, Master Chief Petty Officer Brian Alazzawi, testified Tuesday that Gallagher and his platoon were considered “rock stars” after returning from the 2017 deployment to Iraq in which they aided Iraqi forces in ousting ISIS from Mosul.

But he noticed some platoon members seemed dejected despite the praise.

Alazzawi said Special Operator First Class Craig Miller told him in October that Gallagher had stabbed a prisoner on May 3 while deployed.

Miller told Alazzawi that he was coming forward because Gallagher was being promoted and nominated for a Silver Star.

Alazzawi said he trusted Miller and found the report credible. He told the troop commander but the alleged war crime wasn’t reported outside SEAL Team 7 until January 2018 - when Alazzawi got word that several SEALs had planned to go as high as the Navy commodore because nothing was being done.

Alazzawi did not explain why he and the troop commander had taken no action.


Weber reported from Los Angeles.


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