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Judge refuses to toss war crimes case over misconduct claims

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Posted at 3:58 PM, Jun 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-07 18:58:05-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A military judge refused to dismiss the case against a decorated Navy SEAL charged with killing a wounded Islamic State prisoner in Iraq in 2017.

Capt. Aaron Rugh (ROO) made the ruling Friday after previously removing the lead prosecutor who has been accused of misconduct.

Defense lawyers argued for the case to be dismissed after discovering prosecutors secretly tracked their emails without court approval.

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Rugh unexpectedly released Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher from custody last week as a remedy for prosecutors interfering with his right to counsel.

Gallagher is charged with premeditated murder in the stabbing of a teenage militant and with attempted murder in the shooting of two Iraqi civilians.

He denies the charges and says disgruntled platoon members made the allegations because of his tough leadership.