The Navy officer who supervised a SEAL accused of fatally stabbing an Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017 was charged Tuesday with numerous offenses tied to the case, together with allegations he carried out the SEAL’s re-enlistment ceremony subsequent to the corpse and inspired enlisted personnel to pose for pictures with the physique.

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The courtroom martial for Lt. Jacob Portier started with the arraignment Tuesday on the Navy base in San Diego. Portier is also accused of failing to report a struggle crime, destroying proof and impeding the investigation of Particular Operations Chief Edward Gallagher.

Portier’s legal professional, Jay Sullivan, stated Portier will plead not responsible to all the costs at a later date, which is allowed below navy courtroom guidelines. Either side agreed to satisfy once more subsequent week to debate restrictions on data, pictures and video from the investigation and whether or not something ought to be categorized or saved from the general public through the uncommon trial of an elite particular warfare operator.

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Sullivan stated he plans to object to a protecting order in place as a result of it has restricted his capability to evaluation the investigation’s paperwork and interview witnesses about statements which were made, although he believes there could also be issues that ought to be saved from the general public and mentioned in closed session through the trial.

Sullivan stated Portier — who was the officer accountable for Gallagher’s platoon through the deployment — is harmless. Sullivan believes it is going to come out that the Islamic State fighter was killed in fight operations and Portier was not there.

He additionally stated the re-enlistment ceremony was performed legally in a struggle zone the place there might have been different casualties close by.

“I can let you know he definitely by no means ordered anyone to seem in any pictures with a lifeless ISIS fighter,” Sullivan stated after the arraignment. “I can let you know {that a} re-enlistment ceremony was performed on the battlefield and for a Navy SEAL nothing might be extra proud and honorable than re-enlisting to serve your nation on the battlefield.”

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Gallagher pleaded not responsible earlier this month to prices of premeditated homicide and different offenses, together with opening hearth on crowds of Iraqi civilians, and capturing a feminine and a male in separate incidents.

Navy prosecutors have painted an image of a embellished SEAL going off the rails on his eighth deployment, indiscriminately capturing at Iraqi civilians and stabbing to demise a captured Islamic State fighter estimated to be 15 years previous. They are saying he additionally posed with the corpse, together with at his re-enlistment ceremony.

His attorneys have stated the allegations had been made by disgruntled SEALs out to get Gallagher as a result of he was a demanding platoon chief.

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Portier’s lawyer stated the Naval SEALs have had “extraordinary success” in Iraq. He’s involved the Navy’s prosecution of the case in a public courtroom martial may undermine that, harm morale and reveal details about the secretive pressure. He needs the State Division to intervene on behalf of nationwide safety. He believes it is essential to find out whether or not elements of the case, comparable to operations’ particulars, ways, and many others., ought to be solely mentioned in closed periods.

“I imagine the investigation ought to be categorized,” Sullivan stated after the arraignment. “The operations that we do over there may be defending our nationwide safety, and parading these warfighters on the stage, I believe it places them in danger and our mission over there in danger.”

Gallagher, who has been jailed since his arrest Sept. 11, will stand trial Feb. 19.


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