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Navy SEAL With Immunity in Murder Case May Be Charged

Corey Scott may face perjury charges after claiming he killed an ISIS fighter
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2019 7:01 AM CDT
This undated photo shows Navy SEAL Edward Gallagher, who has been charged with murder in the 2017 death of an Iraqi war prisoner.   (Edward Gallagher via AP)

(Newser) – At the court martial of Navy Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher last week, Special Operator First Class Corey Scott stunned a courtroom when, out of the blue, he announced he, not Gallagher, was the one who'd killed a captured young ISIS fighter in Iraq in 2017. Now, Scott may be charged with perjury, reports the New York Times. The medic "testified directly contrary to previous official statements—thus exposing him to prosecution," says an email sent Tuesday by the Navy to Scott's lawyer that says the Navy is considering whether to charge him. Both a Navy official and Scott's lawyer have confirmed the email to the Times; the AP also has a copy from Scott's lawyer. Scott may have perjured himself on a variety of topics, including how many times he saw Gallagher stab the fighter and whether there'd been blood.

Gallagher's defense attorney, Tim Parlatore, has said Scott revealed his supposed role in the killing just last week because the Navy's investigators had been sloppy and never asked him how the ISIS fighter had died. But Navy documents show Scott was asked multiple times by investigators to go over the cause of death. Parlatore tells CNN perjury charges would be "stupid." Scott has what the Times calls a "sweeping grant of immunity," but there's a catch: It only applies to truthful testimony, so if he lied under oath, it's out the window. The immunity deal is a complicated one, though, and the Navy Times explains here why it's unlikely prosecutors could go after Scott for the murder. If he is charged with and convicted of perjury, he could be dishonorably discharged and see up to five years behind bars. (Read more Navy SEALs stories.)

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