A military judge on Tuesday asked the Navy to address claims that allegations from a potential government witness were being leaked to the media in the case of a SEAL charged with murder in the 2017 death of an Iraqi war prisoner.
Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher is accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017.
The judge, Capt. Aaron Rugh, said the leak is “disconcerting” because it could taint the jury, affect testimony and impact whether Gallagher receives a fair trial. He said the government has “all the power to investigate.”
The Navy says it is investigating and has limited the number of people who have access to the information to stop the leaks.
Defense attorney Phil Stackhouse told the court the Navy Times received a letter from an attorney representing one of the SEALs expected to testify for the prosecution that detailed his potential testimony. The report came around the same time Stackhouse was given the letter by the prosecution.