- The Washington Times - Friday, October 11, 2019

The lawyer representing a decorated Green Beret facing a December court-martial in the killing of a suspected Taliban bomb maker claims the Army’s “increasingly secretive prosecution” of Major Mathew Golsteyn violates his constitutional rights and raises “troubling questions.”

Maj. Golsteyn faces a Dec. 2 murder trial in the 2010 death of a man in Afghanistan. The prosecution at Fort Bragg in North Carolina has garnered wide public attention including from President Donald Trump who pledged to look into the case.

An Army board of inquiry has already cleared Maj. Golsteyn in the case, said Phillip Stackhouse, the Green Beret’s defense lawyer.

“He should have been separated or medically retired because of service-related injuries and allowed to move on with his life and family,” Mr. Stackhouse said in a statement.

Maj. Golsteyn was then a captain in the 3rd Special Forces Group when he deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 and took part in Operation Moshtarak, a bloody campaign to liberate the Taliban-controlled town of Marjah in the Helmand Province. A bomb killed two Marines who were attached to his team. Maj. Golsteyn’s lawyers said the bomb maker was located and questioned. He was later killed on the battlefield after returning to combat U.S. Forces.

He had already left the military when the investigation against him commenced. The Army later returned Maj. Golsteyn to active duty to face trial.

Maj. Golsteyn’s defense team said they filed a series of motions in the case accusing the government of not providing them access to evidence and potential witnesses. Also, Mr. Stackhouse said the Central Intelligence Agency is now classifying evidence that was until recently considered unclassified. Army prosecutors are seeking to travel to Afghanistan nine years after the incident occurred to conduct depositions of newly uncovered local witnesses, defense laywers said.

“In every respect, Maj. Golsteyn’s due process rights have been abused: the right to counsel, the right to a speedy trial and the right to confront witnesses,” Mr. Stackhouse said. “The lack of accountability and secrecy by the Army prosecutors is astonishing.”

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