By lex, on March 17th, 2010
For the Fallujah SEALs **:
The case against a Navy SEAL accused of not protecting an alleged Iraqi terrorist took a major turn Friday when a military judge ordered that five key defense witnesses be granted immunity to testify on his behalf…
Huertas faces court martial for dereliction of duty, impeding an investigation and making a false official statement. A member of SEAL Team 10 at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek, he was one of the commandos who captured Ahmed Hashim Abed in Fallujah in early September. A sailor guarding the detainee claimed to see one SEAL punch Abed while Huertas and a third SEAL watched.
Four other SEALs and a Navy corpsman who were present on the day of the alleged incident, including the detachment commander, dispute the guard’s claims. Because they’d been told they also faced prosecution, they requested immunity before testifying in the case. Army Maj. Gen. C.T. Cleveland, the head of Special Operations Command Central, denied their requests in February.
The optics on this case totally suck: Heroic sailors hauled before a CM for allegedly handling a murderer roughly. And maybe telling stories about it after.
With defense witnesses now free to testify without fear of persecution prosecution, the legal case is starting to look pretty shaky too.
** 09-26-2018 Original link gone; replacement found – Ed.