Mar 17 2010
The government refused to give immunity to the witnesses because their testimony would contradict a lot of what the government is alleging as having happened.
UNBELIEVABLE! The government was trying to prevent the SEALS from getting a fair trial?
FEB. 21, No immunity for Navy SEAL key witnesses A request for immunity has been denied by the government as of Friday. With the decision to reject their request, they may not be able to take the stand during the trials of their fellow SEALs.
Anyone can certainly read between the lines of this request for immunity from the potential witnesses. Their testimony, according to their lawyer, “would be inconsistent with some or all of the statements made by Petty Officer 3rd Class Kevin Demartino, the Navy master-at-arms who claimed to have seen a SEAL hit Abed while he was being held in a U.S. detainee facility after his capture.”
Monica Lombardi, representing accused Navy SEAL Julio Huertas, was quoted as saying that the decision of the government puts the “fundamental fairness” of the process into question. Lombardi says further: “They contradict a lot of what the government is alleging as having happened. Where is the government going with this case, and how are they going to ensure the accused’s right to a fair trial?”
MAR. 13, Judge orders immunity for SEAL witnesses! On Friday, however, Cmdr. Tierney Carlos, the military judge who is hearing the case against Julio Huertas, said that the witnesses will be able to provide testimony that may place the allegations brought by a guard who said he witnessed McCabe punch Abed in doubt. Carlos ruled that “not granting them immunity… is either an attempt to gain tactical advantage over the defense or showed the government was overreaching.”
The five witnesses’ initial request for immunity was denied by Army Maj. Gen. C.T. Cleveland, the head of Special Operations Command Central. Cleveland was given until March 24 by Cmdr. Carlos to provide immunity to the five withnesses “he will abate the proceeding,” which is legalese for postponing the case indefinitely, according to a report by Kate Wiltrout of The Virginian-Pilot.
The potential witnesses are composed of four other Navy SEALs and a Navy Corpsman who were also present when the alleged “incident” happened, including the detachment commander. They dispute the claims made by the guard, and they requested for immunity as they had been told that they may also face prosecution.
Julio Huertas is charged with dereliction of duty, impeding an investigation and making a false official statement. Efforts are under way to have them exonerated, with Republican members of Congress rallying support behind their cause.