Judge removes prosecutor from Navy SEAL war crimes case

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SAN DIEGO (AP) – A military judge has removed the lead prosecutor accused of misconduct from the war crimes case of a decorated Navy SEAL.

Defense attorney Tim Parlatore says Capt. Aaron Rugh (ROO) made the ruling Monday after he and other attorneys for Chief Edward Gallagher excoriated prosecutors for tracking their emails without court approval to find the source of news leaks.

Rugh unexpectedly released Gallagher from custody last week as a remedy for interference by prosecutors.

The removal could delay the trial scheduled to start June 10.

Republicans say Gallagher has been mistreated and President Donald Trump has considered dismissing the charges as commander-in-chief.

Gallagher has pleaded not guilty to murder in the death of an injured teenage militant in Iraq in 2017.

FILE – This 2018 file photo provided by Andrea Gallagher shows her husband, Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who has been charged with murder in the 2017 death of an Iraqi war prisoner. Lawyers for Gallagher are seeking to have the charges dismissed for alleged prosecutorial misconduct. Attorneys for Special Operations Chief Gallagher are scheduled to argue in military court Wednesday, May 29, 2019, that the case against him has been tainted by lies, withholding evidence and conducting surveillance on the defense. (Andrea Gallagher via AP, File)
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