The court-martial of Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher began on Friday.
All in all, Chief Gallagher is charged with four different violations of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice (UCMJ). More specifically, the SEAL is accused of murdering a captured teenage ISIS fighter by stabbing him in the neck and body, shooting at unarmed civilians, obstructing justice by encouraging his SEAL platoon members not to disclose his actions on three separate occasions, and wrongfully using a dead ISIS fighter to reenlist, and finally, abusing banned controlled substances.
The process began in early September with the arrest of Chief Gallagher followed by an Article 32 hearing held by the Navy in October. The hearing, which determines whether there is sufficient evidence to prosecute an individual, is a requirement before a general court-martial. The hearing was completed in mid-November. Rear Adm. Yancy Lindsey, commander of Navy Region Southwest and the officer in charge, has now determined that there is indeed sufficient evidence for a court-martial.
The Navy is using cellphone images to support its claims. The images appear to show Chief Gallagher grasping the head of the dead ISIS fighter during his reenlistment ceremony. According to San Diego NBC 7, the only news outlet allowed to be present during the first day of the court-martial, Navy prosecutors also have evidence that shows Chief Gallagher trying to bribe his teammates to remain silent over his actions.