Defense attorneys for a high-profile court-martial of a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes filed a motion to dismiss the lead prosecutor and possibly relieve the military judge overseeing the case Monday, citing concerns that the judge may have improperly overseen the surveillance of the SEAL’s defense team by prosecutors.
In addition to the dismissal of the lead prosecutor, the defense team is seeking a preliminary examination of the judge to understand “whether he knowingly authorized this investigation … whether he chose to remain willfully ignorant of the facts, or whether he was misled” by the lead prosecutor and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, according to court documents obtained by Navy Times.
Attorneys for Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, 39, who is accused of murdering an injured teenage ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017, said that lead prosecutor Cmdr. Christopher Czaplak and a NCIS agent met with Navy Judge Capt. Aaron Rugh on May 8 to explain that NCIS was investigating leaks pertaining to the case to unauthorized parties, including the media.